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Port of Long Beach sees best November on record

The Port of Long Beach had its best November on record, lifted by the holiday retail rush and a surge in personal protective equipment deliveries amid the latest nationwide wave of COVID-19 cases.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 783,523 twenty-foot equivalent units of container cargo last month, a 30.6% jump compared to November 2019. Imports were up 30.5% to 382,677 TEUs and exports were down 5.2% to 117,283 TEUs. Empty containers shipped overseas rose 55% to 283,563 TEUs.

“Online shopping and PPE purchases are on the rise as consumers continue the stay-at-home lifestyle, but the overall economic outlook is uncertain with another wave of COVID-19 spreading across the country,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “We’re dealing with the surge in containers by partnering with stakeholders, utilizing a temporary storage yard and prioritizing dual transaction truck trips that balance inbound and outbound cargo flows.”

“We appreciate the strong effort of our dockworkers who are moving an incredible amount of cargo during the second half of 2020 after a slow start for the year,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We remain cautiously optimistic and intend to maintain the high level of service that the Port of Long Beach is known for.”

The boost comes at the end of the peak shipping season as retailers prepare for the upcoming holidays and an increase in online spending resulting from consumers opting to stay at home during the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.

The Port had 87 container ship calls in November, 17 of which were unscheduled vessels that made up for voyages canceled earlier this year.

The Port has moved 7,297,430 TEUs during the first 11 months of the year, 4.7% up from the same period in 2019.