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Home Port News Port of Long Beach sets new annual volume record in 2021

Port of Long Beach sets new annual volume record in 2021

The Port of Long Beach (POLB) has achieved a new record in 2021 by handling container volumes of more than 9.38 million TEU amid a historic import surge, induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Particularly, the US West Coast port proceeded 9,384,368 TEU during 2021, surpassing by 15.7% the previous record of more than 8.11 million TEU, set in 2020.

Imports grew by 14.6% year-on-year to 4,581,846 TEU, while exports declined 2.6% to 1,437,916 TEU compared to last year. As for empty containers moving through POLB, they completed 3,364,606 TEU, reflecting an increase of 27.5% over 2020.

The remarkable increase in cargo was driven by evolving consumer spending habits during the Covid-19 pandemic and pivoted toward home office supplies, furniture and exercise equipment.

"This incredible milestone was achieved by the skilled workers who keep goods moving through the supply chain as we continue to seek solutions to improve efficiency, attract business and build for the future," claimed Port of Long Beach executive director, Mario Cordero.

The Californian port had 980 container vessel calls in 2021, which is 62 less than last year's 1,042 calls, due to the elimination of "dual calls" for some shipping services that moved up and down the West Coast, according to the port.

During this period, the US second busiest port collaborated with stakeholders at the local, state and federal levels to enhance cargo movements, such as the expansion of operating hours and the creation of temporary staging areas for full containers.

Steven Neal, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, said that the port is anticipating further collaboration with the labour force and industry partners in 2022 to develop immediate and long-term solutions that will alleviate the congestion at the San Pedro Bay.

Regarding the port's container traffic in December, it declined by 7.5% compared to the same period in 2020 with 754,314 TEU handled.

Imports reached 358,687 TEU and exports completed 113,918 TEU, reflecting year-on-year decreases of 11.7% and 13.9%, respectively, while empty containers rose by 1.5% to 281,709 TEU.

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