A year after being bumped down the list of busiest U.S. container ports, the Port of Long Beach has reclaimed its long-held No. 2 position.

In 2022, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey moved more containers than Long Beach, logging about 8.8 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units, a standard measurement) versus Long Beach’s 8.5 million.

But the latest data from New York-New Jersey shows that in 2023, that port handled about 7.8 million containers – fewer than the 8 million TEUs that passed through the Long Beach port last year.

“We are pleased to regain our longstanding stature as second-busiest U.S. container port given our cargo volume in 2023,” Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero said in a statement.

The Port of Los Angeles continued to hold onto its first-place ranking in 2023, with more than 8.6 million containers moved.

So far, 2024 is off to a strong start for the twin San Pedro Bay ports, which both announced last month’s cargo volumes on Wednesday.

The more than 855,000 TEUs that the Port of Los Angeles handled were a near-record volume for the month of January, and the roughly 674,000 containers that passed through the Port of Long Beach represented a 17.5% increase over the same month in 2023, according to news releases from the ports.

Leaders of the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports have said that some goods movement shifted to Gulf and East Coast ports last year because of uncertainty amid the drawn-out and sometimes contentious contract negotiations between West Coast dockworkers and terminal operators and shipping companies.

But by September, the two sides had agreed to a six-year deal, which San Pedro port complex officials have said is one reason cargo volumes are rebounding.

In a media briefing Wednesday, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka noted that East and Gulf coast port workers are now in negotiations with their employers; industry publications have reported the potential for a strike this fall.

Seroka also said shipping disruptions caused by attacks on vessels in the Red Sea have so far had limited impact here, but that the Port of Los Angeles “has the capacity to handle additional cargo if there’s a need or desire to reroute in this direction.”

Reporter Brandon Richardson contributed to this story.