The largest port on the Western Coast of the United States announced a record month for cargo volume.
By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent
LOS ANGELES — The Port of Los Angeles set a year-over-year cargo volume record in February of 2021, compared to the tonnage volume that flowed through the port in February of 2020.
The port said that it processed 799,315 TEUs in February. That is a 47 percent jump when compared to February of 2020. At that time, of course, the world’s trade began grinding to a near halt due to the spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing pandemic.
Specifically, February 2021 loaded imports reached 412,884 TEUs year-over-year. Loaded exports also decreased by 24.7 percent to 101,208 TEUs. Empty containers bound for Asia surged 104 percent year-over-year.
Gene Seroka, the Port of Los Angeles executive director, said in a press statement that February is the “seventh month of an unparalleled import surge, driven by unprecedented demands by American consumers.”
“One year ago global trade slowed to a crawl as the COVID-19 pandemic first hit China and then spread worldwide,” said Seroka.
“Our challenges now are focused on getting port workers vaccinated and assisting stakeholders in managing this heavy flow of cargo,” he added. “We will do everything we can to help get shipping lines back on schedule. It’s critical that we clear the backlog of cargo and return more certainty to the Pacific trade.”