Port of Long Beach has a record March of 2021

The Port of Long Beach (Source: Wikimedia Commons).
The Port of Long Beach (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

The second busiest port on the US West Coast had another record month.

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By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent

LONG BEACH — The port authority for Long Beach achieved its busiest month and its second-best fiscal quarter on record as American consumers continue to practice physical distancing guidelines in March and turned toward e-commerce avenues.

“Although the pandemic is receding, consumers are spending less on travel this year and turning toward online retail in unprecedented numbers to purchase exercise equipment, office furniture, and home improvement items,” said Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach’s executive director, in a press statement. “The demand for e-commerce is happening more quickly than we anticipated, but we will continue to collaborate with our industry stakeholders to catch up with the unprecedented cargo volume at our gateway.”

According to conventional data, March is often viewed as one of the slowest months on the shipping calendar. However, Long Beach’s dockworkers and terminal operators moved 840,387 TEUs in March, which was a 62.3 percent jump from March of 2020. This is the largest year-over-year increase for a single month at the cargo terminals occupying the port. December of 2020 was the Port of Long Beach’s previous “best month” with a recorded 815,885 TEUs processed at the time. March surpassed that record by 24,502 TEUs.

In the 110-year history of the Port of Long Beach, more than 800,000 TEUs processed in a single month has only happen three times.

“We’re pleased that many of our essential workers on the waterfront have been able to receive their COVID-19 vaccines to keep them healthy and to maintain the flow of cargo,” said Frank Colonna, the Long Beach Harbor Commission president. “Even as we set records, the economy is still in recovery mode, so it is vital to keep our supply chain workforce strong.”

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