A loaded cargo ship at the Port of Los Angeles.

A loaded cargo ship at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo by Ringo Chiu.

Dockworkers and terminal operators at the Port of Long Beach moved 745,488 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo last month, bringing the 11-month container volume total to 8.63 million and topping the annual record of 8.1 million TEUs set in 2020 — and that doesn’t include December cargo data.

“Clearing the line of ships waiting to enter our port and moving containers off the docks are our top priorities to ensure shelves are stocked and consumers can purchase gifts during the holiday season,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. “We are seeing notable improvements toward achieving that goal as we continue to help our supply chain partners catch up and ensure goods are delivered as soon as possible.”

November imports added up to 362,394 TEUs, a 5.3% dip compared to November 2020, while exports decreased 6.4% to 109,821 TEUs. The volume of empty containers was also down 3.6% to 273,274 TEUs.

At the neighboring Port of Los Angeles, dockworkers moved an estimated 811,706 TEUs of cargo, an 8.8% decrease from the same period last year. 
Imports accounted for 403,569 TEUs of the total, a 13.2% dip year over year, while exports sank 37% to 82,298 TEUs.
“The sustained and unmatched demand by the American consumer is pushing our import numbers to new levels,” Port of L.A. Executive Director Gene Seroka said during a video press conference Dec. 15. “We’re on track for an all-time import record in 2021 of 5.5 million TEUs. That’s 13% better than the previous mark set back in 2018.”

The volume of empty containers shipped overseas added up to 325,838 TEUs, an 11% uptick. The Port of L.A. processed 9.89 million TEUs of cargo through November and is on track to finish the year at 10.7 million TEUs.

“That would eclipse our best mark in history, also dating back to 2018, by about 13%,” Seroka said.

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