Cargo surge breaks multiple records at Port of Los Angeles


The Port of Los Angeles, the busiest U.S. port by container volume, has experienced the strongest March in its 114-year history, according to an announcement of the port.

“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 Wednesday at an online briefing conference.

According to Seroka, the port processed 957,599 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in March for a 113 percent leap compared to March 2020 when global trade slowed to a crawl after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loaded imports volume reached 490,115 TEUs last month, an increase of 123 percent compared to the previous year, while loaded exports edged up 1.5 percent to 122,899 TEUs. Empty containers, heavily in demand in Asia, surged 219 percent compared to March 2020 reaching 344,585 TEUs.

As a Western Hemisphere port with the most cargo moved annually, the Port of Los Angeles’ top trading partners include China, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea.

The cargo surge in March also marked the largest monthly year-over-year increase in the port’s history and its busiest first quarter so far. Moreover, the overall cargo volumes through the nation’s busiest container port have increased 44 percent compared to 2020.