Port of Los Angeles Sees Record June Numbers, Sets New Fiscal-Year Mark

Freight and Logistics

In June, the Port of Los Angeles set a new record for any Western Hemisphere port. | Photo courtesy of Port of Los Angeles

In June, the Port of Los Angeles set a new record for any Western Hemisphere port. | Photo courtesy of Port of Los Angeles

As of Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Port of Los Angeles saw another new record in the month of June with more than 875,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) processed. The TEUs represented the port’s busiest June ever and closed the fiscal year at 10,879,383 TEUs—a new record for any Western Hemisphere port. The June numbers were also a 27 percent increase over last year’s 8,560,882 TEUs.

“Together we’ve kept the port operational during the pandemic, dock work shifts have increased, and berth ship productivity has jumped 50 percent since pre-pandemic numbers,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I’m so proud of the extraordinary work accomplished under these challenging circumstances.”

The port also surpassed 10 million TEUs in 12 months and broke the 1 million TEU barrier in May. The increasing numbers and records have been a common theme over the past 12 months in which the port eclipsed eight monthly records, had its two highest-performing quarters and top four individual months in its 114-year history.

“Key economic indicators all suggest that U.S. consumer spending will remain strong through the remainder of 2021,” Seroka said. “Even as Americans return to airline travel, vacations and in-person events, retail sales and e-commerce remain robust.

“Fall fashion, back-to-school items and Halloween goods are arriving at our docks, and some retailers are shipping year-end holiday products early,” Seroka said. “All signs point to a robust second half of the year, which is good news for the nearly 1 million residents in the region who have jobs tied to the San Pedro Bay port complex.”

Loaded imports for June 2021 were more than 467,000 TEUs compared to just over 369,000 in June 2020, an increase of 27 percent. Conversely, exports were under 100,000, at 96,067 TEUs, for June 2021—the lowest export number the port has seen since 2005. It was a 12 percent decrease from 110,000 TEUs last June.

The past 12 months were described as a “peak season on auto repeat” by Seroka. The total June 2021 volume of 876,430 TEUs surpassed the previous June 2019 record of 764,777 TEUs by 15 percent. The 2021 fiscal year also broke the top fiscal year on record, set in 2018–19, by 12 percent.

“While all these milestones are inspiring, the cargo continues to move at a record pace and there’s no lull in the action,” Seroka said. “We have to continue to squeeze every ounce of efficiency that we can out of this port complex.”