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  • Port of Long Beach sets annual record with 9.38 million TEUs
  • 2022 January 20 11:51

    Port of Long Beach sets annual record with 9.38 million TEUs

    The Port of Long Beach set a new record in 2021 by moving 9.38 million cargo containers as dockworkers and terminal operators worked to clear the docks amid an historic, pandemic-induced import surge, according to the company's release.

    The Port ended 2021 with 9,384,368 twenty-foot equivalent units processed, a 15.7% increase from the previous record of more than 8.11 million TEUs moved in 2020. Imports jumped 14.6% to 4,581,846 TEUs and exports declined 2.6% to 1,437,916 TEUs compared to last year. Empty containers moving through the Port were up 27.5% to 3,364,606 TEUs.

    The significant increase in cargo was driven by evolving consumer spending habits during the COVID-19 pandemic, when demand for vacations, dining out and entertainment declined due to health precautions and pivoted toward home office supplies, furniture and exercise equipment.

    The Port of Long Beach had 980 container vessel calls in 2021, down from 1,042 a year earlier due to the elimination of “dual calls” for some shipping services that moved up and down the West Coast.

    The Port collaborated with stakeholders at the local, state and federal levels to enhance cargo movements, including: expanding hours of operation; creating temporary staging areas for full containers; and encouraging truck drivers to drop off export containers when picking up an import.

    The Port has delayed consideration of a “Container Dwell Fee” that would charge ocean carriers for cargo containers that remain too long on the docks. Since the program was announced on Oct. 25, the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports have seen a combined decline of 55% in aging cargo on the docks.

    The strong economic momentum experienced through 2021 hit a speed bump by year’s end due to the rampant spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

    Trade was down 7.5% in December compared to the same period in 2020 with 754,314 cargo container units moved. Imports declined 11.7% to 358,687 TEUs. Exports dropped 13.9% to 113,918 TEUs, while empty containers climbed 1.5% to 281,709 TEUs.

    The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. As the second-busiest container seaport in the United States, the Port handles trade valued at more than $200 billion annually and supports 2.6 million trade-related jobs across the nation, including 575,000 in Southern California.




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