Port of Los Angeles sets Western Hemisphere record for annual volume

Written by Nick Blenkey
container being loaded

Officials watched 10 millionth container being loaded onto the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci.

The Port of Los Angeles yesterday became the first port in the Western Hemisphere to process 10 million container units in a 12-month period.

To mark the milestone, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, longshore labor leaders, port officials and stakeholders gathered at the port’s Fenix Marine Services Container Terminal to watch the 10 millionth container being loaded onto the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci.

The CMA CGM Group is the port’s largest shipping line customer.

“The Port is the beating heart of our economy, the backbone of our region’s prosperity, and the crossroads that makes Los Angeles a true gateway to the rest of the world,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Reaching this remarkable milestone is a reflection of its role as a critical engine of the global supply chain—and a testament to our unmatched port infrastructure and highly-skilled workforce.”

“Stacked end-to-end, 10 million containers would circle the world one and a half times,” said Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners President Jaime Lee. “It’s a lot of cargo to handle by any measure. We are deeply grateful to the longshore workers, truckers, terminal operators, shipping line partners and all of the stakeholders that have made this remarkable achievement possible, particularly in the face of an unprecedented pandemic.”

When the Port of Los Angeles closes its FY 2020-2021 books on June 30, it is expected to have processed more than 10.8 million TEUs.

Over the past 12 months, port terminals have worked an average of 15 containerships each day, up from a pre-pandemic average of 10 ships a day, representing a significant increase in productivity.

Longshore labor shifts are up nearly 20% in 2021 compared to the average weekly shift count over the past four years.

Despite these efforts, vessels calling the port still face delays waiting at anchorage, though the queue is down from earlier highs. According to the port’s Cargo Operations Dashboard, there are currently six vessels at anchorage, with time at anchorage now averaging 5.1 days.

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