Two container ships at berth on Terminal Island at the Port of Long Beach. Jan. 11, 2022. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The Port of Long Beach continues to move cargo at a record pace in 2022, setting another standard for activity in the month of April.

Officials reported today that the port moved 820,718 twenty-foot equivalent units, TEUs, of container cargo in the month of April, finishing about 10% higher than the previous record of 746,188 TEUs moved in the same month last year. The milestone continues a streak of record-breaking months of cargo movement at the port in 2022.

“Cargo continues to move at a record-setting pace and may not slow down anytime soon,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a release announcing the numbers. “We are preparing for a likely summertime surge as China recovers from an extended shutdown due to COVID-19.”

Import numbers eclipsed 400,000 TEUs this month, which has only happened three other times over the past 12 months. A total of 400,803 TEUs of imported cargo was still less than the 427,280 of imported TEUs last month, but the number does represent a 9.7% increase from the 367,151 TEUs imported in April 2021.

On the other hand, exports decreased by 1.8% from the previous year, with 121,876 TEUs of cargo leaving the port. Export numbers were still up from the previous month’s total of 114,185 TEUs, and is the second highest number in a month this year.

Movement of empty containers also saw a sharp increase from the previous years, with 298,039 TEUs moved in April, an almost 17% increase from the previous April. This was also the second most active month for empty container movement in 2022, only trailing the 321,691 TEUs moved in March. It is only the fourth time since last April in which the total empty containers moved eclipsed 290,000 TEUs, joining May 2021, July 2021, and March 2022 as the only months to hit this number.

These numbers contribute to what has been a significantly more active first third of the year than in 2021. The port has moved more than 3.2 million TEUs during the first four months of 2022, a 5.1% increase from the same period in 2021.

The Port of Los Angeles has yet to post its cargo statistics for the month of April. Complete Port of Long Beach cargo numbers can be found at polb.com/statistics.

Christian May-Suzuki

Christian May-Suzuki is a reporter at the Long Beach Business Journal.