The Port of Long Beach is on the verge of crossing 9 million freight containers, closing what has already been a remarkable year with a second consecutive record annual total.
This milestone comes as the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles grapple with what has been a relentless wave of more than a year that has kept an armada of ships anchored outside the port and overcrowded terminal docks. of containers.
From January through November, 8.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units – the industry standard measurement for freight – passed through the Port of Long Beach, the mall said on Thursday, December 9. This has already surpassed the existing annual record of 8.1 TEUs. fixed last year.
Together, the two ports are expected to exceed 20 million TEUs for calendar year 2021.
November’s numbers at Long Beach were down slightly – by 4.9% – from November 2020, which was the strongest November on record for the port.
Last month, 745,488 TEUs passed through the Port of Long Beach.
The Port of Los Angeles statistics for November will be released at the end of next week.
Long Beach Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said the port’s biggest challenge remains the pressure to clear goods so that the goods can arrive on store shelves for the holidays.
“Clearing the line of ships waiting to enter our port and moving containers from docks are our top priorities,” he said in a written statement, “to ensure shelves are well stocked and consumers can buy gifts during the holiday season ”.
The downturn in the supply chain has made headlines and prompted states and the federal government to look for ways to move goods faster, although there has been some progress lately.
“We are seeing significant improvements towards achieving this goal,” Cordero said, “as we continue to help our supply chain partners catch up and ensure goods are delivered as quickly as possible” .
The 34 ships waiting to enter the sister port complex on Thursday contrasted sharply with the more than 80 ships waiting at one point last month.
This drop is due to a new queuing process implemented in November.
The system was put in place by the Pacific Maritime Association, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, and the Marine Exchange of Southern California and scales ships using places up to 150 miles offshore to queue. As a result, fewer ships are crammed just off the coast, which should also improve safety and reduce pollution for local communities.
Shipping carriers have also proactively mobilized to move more aging cargo off the docks, avoiding the assessment of a punitive container stay tax adopted by the two ports on October 25. t go into effect at least until next week.
Finding more transit areas for containers, extending terminal opening hours, and encouraging truckers to drop off export containers when picking up an import are other actions the two ports are taking.
The National Retail Federation, meanwhile, predicts holiday retail sales will be slightly lower than their pre-pandemic peak in 2019.