Port of Long Beach sees decline in throughput

Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach has experienced its second-busiest September on record, however, has seen a 5.9% decline in throughput compared to the same period in 2020.

In September 2020, the port saw its busiest month on record, experiencing a volume increase of 12.9% year-on-year. In September 2021, terminal operators moved 748,472 cargo container units, a marginal dip compared to the previous year.

Imports decreased by 8.7% to 370,230 TEU, while exports declined 1.6% to 110,787 TEU. Finally, empty containers moved through the port also dropped 3.6% to 267,456 TEU.

The port has said the decrease is due to mounting congestion at southern Californian ports, demonstrating the need for extended work hours within the supply chain as unprecedented numbers of vessels wait off the coast to unload cargo.

President Joe Biden has recently announced initiatives to alleviate the ongoing pressure faced: for example, moving to 24/7 operations at the Port of Los Angeles.

“We are having capacity issues due to the unprecedented number of containers waiting to move off the terminals, while warehouses have little to no room to accommodate this ongoing spike in cargo moving through our port,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.

“This is not just about a record number of ships waiting off the coast. We are working with state, federal, local and industry partners to address issues with the entire supply chain that have finally caught up with us.”

Steven Neal, Long Beach Harbor Commission President, added “Our waterfront workforce is moving cargo as quickly as possible as we continue to collaborate with stakeholders from throughout the goods movement industry to develop solutions for our capacity challenges.

“This cargo surge is anticipated to last well into 2022, so we need to start thinking of new ways to meet the expected growth in goods movement and rising consumer demand.”

Total Terminals International (TTI) container terminal on Pier T in the Port of Long Beach has recently piloted its overnight hours programme to widen access amid the ongoing cargo surge. Announced in September 2021, truckers with appointments during the 11.00pm and 1.30am period will be allowed access whenever they arrive during that time.

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