Port of LA hits 10 million cargo container milestone in fiscal year 2020-21 – Daily Breeze
The Port of Los Angeles closed a year marked by several record months by celebrating a one-of-a-kind milestone on Thursday, June 10, when longshoremen loaded the port’s 10 millionth container over a 12-month period. a record in the Western Hemisphere.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and port officials watched the Fenix marine services terminal as workers loaded the container of soybeans bound for Asia onto the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci from the largest shipping company customer of the port.
Applause and a few cheers erupted as longshoreman Tommy Accetta used a giant crane above his head to pick up the container and place it on the ship. The soybeans from Illinois were shipped from The DeLong Co. in Wisconsin.
The event, which also generated a few commemorative T-shirts that were handed out to longshoremen, capped a series of freight increases that began in the summer of 2020, when consumers, constrained by the coronavirus pandemic, turned to are geared towards online shopping, particularly home improvement items and office, gardening and exercise items.
By the time the port closes its 2020-21 fiscal year on June 30, it will have processed more than 10.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units, the shipping industry standard measure used to count variable-length cargo containers.
The pandemic-fueled surge in shopping combined with the need for retailers to restock store shelves and warehouses – pushing imports to historic highs.
Over the past 12 months, port terminals have worked to load and unload an average of 15 container ships every day, up from 10 ships a day before the pandemic.
“To put it in perspective, packaged from end to end, those 10 million containers would go around the world one and a half times,” said Jaime Lee, chairman of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, who thanked the longshoremen, truckers, terminal operators and shipping companies.
Garcetti, meanwhile, praised the port of Los Angeles – the country’s busiest – for its role in the economy and for being “the backbone of our region’s prosperity.”
The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, the second busiest in the country, create 3 million jobs worldwide. And one in nine jobs in LA, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties are linked to the Twin Ports.
Against the backdrop of a giant American flag, several speakers spoke on Thursday afternoon of the key role played by the port of LA
During the darker months of the pandemic, Garcetti said, the port continued to move forward into what has been the busiest time on record.
According to port statistics, longshoreman shifts have increased by nearly 20% in 2021 compared to the average weekly number of shifts over the past four years.
As the flow of goods collapsed in the first months of the pandemic, the port managed to stay open every day.
“We have been working day and night during the pandemic,” said Ramon Ponce de Leon, president of the International Longshoremen’s Union, Local 13.
When the surge hit, he added, workers returned record amounts of cargo.
Some in the crowd speculated on a record 15 million TEUs for 2021-2022, but Garcetti said 11 million could be a safer bet.
The Port of Long Beach, for its part, also recorded record numbers.
The Port of Long Beach moved 907,216 TEUs in May, surpassing its previous all-time monthly record set in March of 66,829. LA’s May figures have yet to be released.
Long Beach has so far moved 6.4 million TEUs in its fiscal year, which ends September 30. A spokesperson for the Port of Long Beach said Thursday that it was not expected to reach 10 million by October at this time.
Still, Long Beach has had 11 straight record months.