The Port of Long Beach achieved its busiest September on record, boosted by consumer demand for holiday-related goods, recent ratification of a labor pact between dockworkers and management and an ongoing effort to showcase the business attributes of the Port of Choice.
Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 829,429 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in September, up 11.8% from the same month last year and surpassing the previous record set in September 2020 by 78,849 TEUs. September also marked the Port’s first monthly year-over-year cargo increase in 14 months.
Imports rose 19.3% to 408,926 TEUs, while exports declined 10.3% to 101,248 TEUs. Empty containers moving through the Port grew 11.5% to 319,255 TEUs.
“Consumer confidence is on the rise and shippers can rely on the Port of Choice now that we have a ratified contract in place with our waterfront workforce,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “We look forward to a moderate rebound in cargo volume through the end of the year.”
“Offering the best service and facilities anywhere while supporting our labor and industry partners remains our top priority,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr. “Merchants and consumers can prepare for the holiday season with confidence in our ability to deliver goods reliably, quickly and sustainably.”
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association announced a tentative agreement on June 14. Dockworkers of the ILWU ratified the six-year contract on Aug. 31.
The Port has moved 5,822,666 TEUs during the first nine months of 2023, down 20.7% from the same period last year. Cargo volume this year has been on pace with pre-pandemic levels, when the Port of Long Beach moved more than 5.7 million TEUs through September 2019. Additionally, the Port processed 2,089,990 TEUs between July 1 and Sept. 30, down 10.5% from the third quarter of 2022.