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Port of Long Beach CEO: ‘Consumer confidence is on the rise’

The Port of Long Beach reported Thursday that it had achieved its busiest September on record, thanks in large part to consumer demand for holiday-related goods and ratification of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union contract.

The Southern California port moved 829,429 twenty-foot equivalent units in September, up 11.8% from the same month last year and surpassing the previous record set in September 2020, during the COVID-induced e-commerce surge, by 78,849 TEUs.

The port noted that September marked its first monthly year-over-year (y/y) cargo increase in 14 months, suggesting the import drought may be over.  

“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,” Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero said in Thursday’s news release. “We look forward to a moderate rebound in cargo volume through the end of the year.”

The ILWU and Pacific Maritime Association announced a tentative labor agreement in June. The union ratified the six-year contract on Aug. 31. 

September imports were up 19.3% y/y to 408,926 TEUs, while exports declined 10.3% to 101,248 TEUs. Empty containers moving through the port were up 11.5% y/y to 319,255 TEUs.

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