Port of Long Beach smashes container records in March

A record number of ocean containers crossed the docks at the Port of Long Beach in March, further underscoring that there will be no slow season this year at U.S. ports. Earlier this week, the Port of Charleston reported record results for March.

The Long Beach port authority on Thursday said its terminals handled 840,387 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, surpassing the previous high of 815,885 set in December. March is normally one of the slowest months for maritime trade, as supply chains relax from order peaks associated with U.S. and Chinese holidays.

But Long Beach and other ports have been swamped with cargo for the past nine months as people stuck at home during COVID shop online at a record pace and companies try to replenish inventories depleted early in the pandemic when many factories in Asia were forced to close for quarantine reasons and carriers canceled many sailings.

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