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Port of Los Angeles sets new record for annual box volume

  • The port is the first in the Western Hemisphere to process 10 million container units in a 12‑month period
  • The port’s previous highest annual container volume on record was in 2018, moving 9.5 million TEUs.
  • Over the past 12 months, the port’s terminals have worked an average of 15 container ships each day, up from a pre-pandemic average of 10 ships a day
  • A pandemic-induced consumer buying surge that began last summer, along with restocking of retailer shelves and e-commerce warehouses across the country, has fueled the dramatic rise in imports

The Port of Los Angeles, the busiest port in the United States, celebrated its 10-millionth container milestone this month amid a dramatic rise in imports, becoming the first port in the Western Hemisphere to process 10 million container units in a 12‑month period.

The 10-millionth container was loaded onto the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci, a vessel from the fleet of French carrier CMA CGM group, in ceremonies held at the port’s Fenix Marine Services Container Terminal on June 10, the port said in a statement.

Stacked end-to-end, 10 million containers would circle the world one and a half times, it added.

When the Port of Los Angeles closes its 2020-2021 fiscal year books on June 30, it is expected to have processed more than 10.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). A pandemic-induced consumer buying surge that began last summer, along with restocking of retailer shelves and e-commerce warehouses across the country, has fueled the dramatic rise in imports, the statement said.

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The feat was achieved despite the COVID-19 crisis, as the Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the pandemic.

Over the past 12 months, the port’s terminals have worked an average of 15 container ships each day, up from a pre-pandemic average of 10 ships a day, representing a significant increase in productivity.

Longshore labor shifts are up nearly 20% in 2021 compared to the average weekly shift count over the past four years.

The Port of Los Angeles has ranked as the number one container port in the United States each year since 2000. In 2020, the port moved 9.2 million TEUs, the fourth highest volume year in the port’s history. The port’s previous highest annual container volume on record was in 2018, moving 9.5 million TEUs.

North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated US$259 billion in trade during 2020.

Photo courtesy of Port of Los Angeles

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