Top two US ports boast strong July results

The two busiest U.S. container ports, the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles, experienced a major rebound in July posting a significant increase in handled cargo, which has been on the decline for months due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The MSC Sveva vessel operations at TTI setting a West Coast record for container moves.

Terminal operators and dockworkers at the Port of Long Beach moved 753,081 cargo container units, recording the busiest month in the 109-year history and topping the record from two years ago.

Trade increased by 21.1% in July compared to the same month in 2019. The previous single-month record of 752,188 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), set in June 2018, was surpassed by nearly 900 TEUs.

“Supply chain workers at the Port of Long Beach expertly handled a welcome surge in cargo that was brought on due to pent-up demand by consumers,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.

“It was a good month, a bright spot, in the midst of the devastating effects of the coronavirus on the economy.”

Cargo volumes were bolstered in July by a surge in online spending as consumers continued to avoid leaving home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the port saw a short-term increase in extra vessel visits to compensate for voyages that were canceled earlier this year.

Imports climbed by 20.3% to 376,807 TEUs, while exports grew by 24.1% to 138,602 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas increased 20.8% to 237,672 TEUs.

The port has moved 4,186,115 TEUs during the first seven months of 2020, 2.8% down from the same period in 2019.

The Port of Los Angeles moved 856,389 TEUs in July, the busiest month thus far of 2020. It was also the second-best July in the port’s history, trailing July 2019 by 6.1%.
“Fewer canceled sailings and 11 additional ‘ad hoc’ or unscheduled ship calls helped drive both imports and exports higher than recent months but still short of last July’s all-time record,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

“Preliminary data for August indicates solid volumes as retailers continue restocking inventories and preparing for the year-end holiday season.”
July loaded imports decreased by 4.3% to 456,029 TEUs compared to the previous year. Loaded exports dropped by 21.7% to 126,354 TEUs. Empty containers declined by 0.1% to 274,007 TEUs. In total, July volumes totaled 856,389 TEUs.
Seven months into 2020, overall volumes are 4,618,278, a decline of 15.3% compared to 2019.