Port Of LA Becomes First Ever In Western Hemisphere To Handle 1+ Million Containers In One Month

The Port of Los Angeles announced Tuesday that it had earned the distinction as the first port in the Western Hemisphere to handle more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in a single month.

May was the busiest month in the 114-year history of the United States’ busiest port. The Port of LA moved a total of 1,012,248 TEUs, up 74% from May 2020, when COVID-19 had stalled global trade. 

The Port of Long Beach and South Carolina Ports Authority last week also reported record Mays. And the Georgia Ports Authority announced it had had 10 consecutive months of growth and turned in its second-busiest month ever. 

One “most” figure that sticks out in the Port of LA’s May numbers: “Empty containers climbed to 366,448 TEUs, a jump of 114% compared to last year due to the heavy demand in Asia. It was the most empties ever processed in a month at the port,” Tuesday’s announcement said. 

At the neighboring Port of Long Beach, the volume of empty containers in May was up 80.7% year-over-year to 327,135 TEUs.