Port of Long Beach reports busiest April in its history

The Port of Long Beach today announced that last month was its strongest April in history, with a 43% increase in units moved compared to the previous April, making it the 10th consecutive month that the port broke a particular month’s cargo movement record.

“We remain optimistic as online spending continues to soar, retailers prepare for a busy summer season and businesses continue to reopen following months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, said in a written statement.

Dock workers and terminal operators moved 746,188 twenty-foot equivalent units last month, making it the first April that the seaport handled more than 700,000 TEUs.

Imports increased 44.8% to 367,151 TEUs and exports grew 21% to124,069 TEUs, port officials said. Empty containers that traveled through the port increased 55.8% to 254,970 TEUs.

“We are in the midst of our best trade periods in port history, but we cannot forget that the national economy remains in recovery mode,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna said in a statement. “We are closely collaborating with our industry stakeholders to handle the resurgence of cargo we’re experiencing after the dramatic declines we saw last year due to COVID-19.”

Since the port’s historic cargo surge started in July 2020, it has broken 10 straight months of movement records for a particular month. The surge is attributed to a rise in online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the first four months of 2021, the port saw a 41.8% increase in cargo moved compared to the same period in 2020.

The port plans to spend about $1.7 billion for rail improvements, terminal modernization and other infrastructure projects over the next 10 years to ease the flow of cargo movement.

The Port of Los Angeles is scheduled to release its April cargo volume data at 11 a.m. Thursday.

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