Online spending and extra vessel visits in July drove up cargo volumes at the Long Beach and L.A. ports.

Online spending and extra vessel visits in July drove up cargo volumes at the Long Beach and L.A. ports.

A surge in online spending and extra vessel visits in July helped the Port of Long Beach record its busiest month ever.

Terminal operators and dockworkers at the 109-year-old port moved 753,081 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo last month, beating a record set in June 2018 by 892 TEUs.

Imports increased 20.3% to 376,807 TEUs in July while exports grew 24.1% to 138,602 TEUs. The number of empty containers headed back overseas increased 20.8% to 237,672 TEUs.

“Supply chain workers at the Port of Long Beach expertly handled a welcome surge in cargo that was brought on due to pent-up demand by consumers,” Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. “It was a good month, a bright spot, in the midst of the devastating effects of the coronavirus on the economy.”

The Port moved 4,186,115 TEUs during the first seven months of 2020, a decline of 2.8% from the same period in 2019.

Cargo volumes at the neighboring Port of Los Angeles were down 15.3% to 4,618,278 TEUs, compared to the first seven months of 2019.

“July’s performance reflects our excellent customer service and mission to move cargo efficiently, even during an unprecedented pandemic and the ongoing trade war with China,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our partners to ensure the secure and speedy shipment of goods.”

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