The Port of Los Angeles processed 957,599 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) last month for a 113% leap compared to March 2020 when global trade slowed to a crawl at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 2021 marked the strongest March in the Port of Los Angeles’ 114-year history, capped the port’s busiest first quarter, and it was by far the largest monthly year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, overall cargo volumes through the nation’s busiest container port have increased 44% compared to 2020.
“As more Americans get vaccinated, businesses reopen and the economy strengthens, consumers continue to purchase goods at a dizzying pace,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I applaud our longshore labor force, truckers, terminal operators and supply chain partners who are working day and night to process the additional cargo.
“Collectively, we have been able to significantly reduce the amount of container vessels awaiting off shore,” added Seroka. “I’m also proud of the steady progress being made to vaccinate waterfront workers at the Port’s on-site location and elsewhere.”
March 2021 loaded imports reached 490,115 TEUs, an increase of 123% compared to the previous year, while loaded exports edged up 1.5% to 122,899 TEUs.
Empty containers surged 219% compared to March 2020 reaching 344,585 TEUs, reflecting heavy demand for empty for shipping containers Asia.
A total of 95 cargo vessels arrived in March, including four extra loaders.
The Port of Los Angeles’ neighbor at the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, the port of Long Beach, also reported similar record-breaking figures last month despite it being a historically slow month in the calendar year.