The Port of Long Beach reported Thursday that it had achieved its busiest September on record, thanks in large part to consumer demand for holiday-related goods and ratification of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union contract.
The Southern California port moved 829,429 twenty-foot equivalent units in September, up 11.8% from the same month last year and surpassing the previous record set in September 2020, during the COVID-induced e-commerce surge, by 78,849 TEUs.
The port noted that September marked its first monthly year-over-year (y/y) cargo increase in 14 months, suggesting the import drought may be over.
“Consumer confidence is on the rise and shippers can rely on the Port of Choice now that we have a ratified contract in place with our waterfront workforce,” Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero said in Thursday’s news release. “We look forward to a moderate rebound in cargo volume through the end of the year.”
September imports were up 19.3% y/y to 408,926 TEUs, while exports declined 10.3% to 101,248 TEUs. Empty containers moving through the port were up 11.5% y/y to 319,255 TEUs.
Volumes for the first nine months of 2023 were down 20.7% from the same period last year. But the port noted that the 5,822,666 TEUs moved from January through September were in line “with pre-pandemic levels, when the Port of Long Beach moved from 5.7 million TEUs through September 2019.”
The port indicated it is making gains, pointing out that the 2,089,990 TEUs moved during the third quarter was down just 10.5% from Q3 2022.
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