Los Angeles Hits a New Milestone, 10M Containers Processed in a Year

Riding the growth wave in imports, the Port of Los Angeles has reached the epitome height where it has processed 10 million containers in a year. In the Western Hemisphere, the Port of Los Angeles has become the first port to attain this milestone and the same was marked with a ceremony on 9 June 2021. It is expected by 30 June, when the port will be completing its fiscal year 2020-2021 it would have processed more than 10.8 million TEUs. These surge in numbers crunch a growth percentage of 17 percent in volumes.

As per the port officials, the rise in the container volume can be attributed to pandemic-induced consumer buying. When the pandemic restrictions were eased last year, the consumer buying surge happened and it has continued. This consumer buying surge started the chain of restocking the retail outlet shelves and e-commerce warehouses throughout the USA.

For the last twelve months, Port of Los Angeles has handled an average of 15 containerships per day which is 50% up from the pre-pandemic average. Jamie Lee, President of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, picturized the massive scale of operation by saying that if the 10 million containers are stacked end-to-end, they will circle the world one and half a time. He further extended his gratitude towards the terminal operators, shipping line partners, truckers, longshore workers, and other stakeholders for achieving this remarkable feat during the hours of a pandemic.

The past year has not been easy for the Port of Los Angeles. The rush of containers had strained the resources at the port and by the beginning of the year 2021, there were visible bottlenecks and congestion at the port. At one point in time, there were as many as 60 ships anchored in San Pedro Bay and the waiting time for ships to berth at terminals had hit 10 days. Port dedicated resources to manage this deadlock and finally has brought down the waiting time to 4.9 days.

In the coming weeks, the Port of Los Angeles might face a dip in container inflow due to congestions happening in China. Despite challenges, Gene Seroka, Port Executive Director has a very optimistic outlook and he predicts a strong future. He says that the infrastructure investments and the supply chain digitization will present opportunities to build on the high growth of the port.

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