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POLB continues volume record streak

The Port of Long Beach (POLB) has continued its streak of single-month records in May by moving more than 900,000TEU for the first time in its 110-year history.

In May, the trade in the Californian port was increased by 44.4% from May 2020 with POLB's dockworkers and terminal operators processing 907,216TEU and breaking the previous “best month” record set in March 2021.

In particular, imports jumped 42.3% to 444,736TEU and exports saw a relatively flat increase of 0.6% to 135,345TEU. At the same time, empty containers moved through the port increased significantly by 80.7% to 327,135TEU.

The Port has moved approximately 4.03 million TEU during the first five months of 2021, which represents a 42.3% increase from the same period in 2020.

“We are seeing a demand for more goods as the country continues to open up and people return to work,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach and went on to add, “Even as we continue to set records during this unprecedented moment in our industry, this is still a fragile moment for the economy and we remain optimistic about our country’s continued recovery.”

May was the 11th consecutive month that the Port of Long Beach has broken cargo movement records for a particular month amid a historic cargo surge that started in July 2020, according to POLB data.

It is important to note that e-commerce sales were higher in May compared to levels prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, while consumers continued to spend more money on goods rather than services such as restaurants, bars, sporting events and concerts – likely due to lingering capacity restrictions in many areas, according to a statement.

Additionally, POLB saw that demand was up for lumber, appliances, and other durable goods due to a rise in housing sales and remodels.

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