Cargo volume through the Port of Long Beach rose 20% year-over-year in June, fueled by strong e-commerce activity, officials said this week.
The port moved 724,297 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the month, with imports rising nearly 19% and exports relatively flat, officials said. Empty containers moved through the port jumped 36% to 250,249 TEUs.
“We anticipate e-commerce to drive much of our cargo movement through the rest of 2021 as retailers plan for a busy summer season,” Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, said in a statement Thursday. “However, June serves as an indicator that consumer demand for goods will gradually level off as the national economy continues to open up and services become more widely available.”
The strong numbers came despite a dip in port traffic. Officials said fewer cargo ships called at the Port of Long Beach in June compared to May due to shifting services and a Covid-19 outbreak at the Yantian port in China that resulted in some vessels delaying arrival until July.
Cargo shipments during the first half of 2021 rose nearly 39%, driven by demand for household products, electronics, and other goods as consumers returned to work as the pandemic eased. Second-quarter throughput was more than 2.3 million TEUs, up nearly 36% from last year, marking the second-best quarter in the Port’s 110-year history.