The Port of Long Beach handled 8,091,023 TEUs in 2018, surpassing 8 million TEUs in a single year for the first time in its 108-year history.
According to the port, cargo grew 7.2% to set a record for a second consecutive year. Imports grew 6.1% to 4,097,377 TEUs, while exports increased 3.6% to 1,523,008 TEUs. Empties increased 11.8% to 2,470,638 TEUs.
December 2018 was the second-busiest month ever behind June 2018 for the port, with 741,647 TEUs, a year-on-year increase of 6.4%.
The port will begin to realize a range of long-planned infrastructure projects in 2019.
“We are moving into our new Civic Center headquarters,” said Tracy Egoscue, president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission. “We will be putting the finishing touches on the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The new Long Beach Container Terminal is entering its final phase of construction. And we’re leaping ahead with the greening of the port.”
Key projects in the years ahead include US$1 billion in rail improvements that will help boost the port’s on-dock rail cargo to 35%, with a long-term goal of 50%.
“Rail allows us to move goods to and from all the major US markets much faster than cargo routed through Gulf and East Coast ports,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “This is true for imports and exports. And for the American exporter, my message to you is this: our rail will move your cargo faster and more efficiently.”
The port is also transitioning to zero-emissions operations, with a goal for terminal operators to use only zero-emissions equipment by 2030, and for drayage fleets to switch to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.