The Port of Los Angeles became the first port in the US on 10 June to reach 10m teu unloading the Malta-flagged 13,344-teu-box ship CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci.

When the port closes its fiscal year 2020-2021 on 30 June, it is expected to have handled more than 10.8m teu, said port officials.

CMA CGM Group is the Port of Los Angeles largest shipping line customer.  Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM and APL North America, noted that “this shows that as the pandemic subsides in the US, the US economy is coming back to life.” 

The Port of Los Angeles has ranked as the number one container port in the United States each year since 2000. The milestone of 10m teu sets Los Angeles in the top 15 busiest container ports in the world, far from those in China. Rotterdam reported 14.5 m teu in 2020.

The 2021 fiscal year forecast of 10.8m teu means a 17% increase over the 9.2m teu of 2020 and 14% growth over the port’s highest container volume in history of 9.5m teu in 2018.

Port officials say that the increase in volume is being driven by a pandemic-induced consumer buying surge that began last summer, along with the restocking of retailer shelves and e-commerce warehouses across the country. However, congestion in Asian ports may disrupt volumes in the coming months.  

“With our sustained focus on supply chain digitalisation, infrastructure investments, and strong business relationships, we have the opportunity to build on this historic milestone,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka.

Source: Seatrade Maritime