The Port of Long Beach culminated in its second-busiest year on record by moving more than 7.6 million TEUs, despite the ongoing US-China trade war, Executive Director Mario Cordero announced Wednesday at the annual State of the Port address.
The Port wrapped up 2019 with 7,632,032 TEUs moved, a decrease of 5.7% from the record-setting pace logged in 2018.
Imports slid 8.3% to 3,758,438 TEUs. Exports totaled 1,472,802 TEUs, down 3.3%, while empties decreased 2.8% to 2,400,792 TEUs.
Terminal operators and dockworkers moved 665,261 TEUs in December, a 10.3% decline compared to December 2018. Imports were down 13.4% to 323,231 TEUs.
Export TEUs jumped 10.6% to 125,395 units, while empties dropped 15.1% to 216,635 TEUs.
Looking ahead into 2020, Cordero sounded an optimistic note of “better times ahead” and progress on trade war discussions, while also pointing out the challenges of lagging business investment and continued uncertainty in the industry.
At the end of the day, we need to be ready for whatever may come. We need to compete, we need to innovate, we need to lead. And most of all, we need to collaborate,
…Cordero said in his speech.
Meanwhile, key projects launched over the past decade are nearing completion, including the replacement for the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge.
The new cable-stayed span is scheduled to open to traffic later this year.
Additionally, construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2021 on the final phase of the Long Beach Container Terminal, expected to be the greenest, most technologically advanced terminal in North America.
Over the next decade, the Port also plans to invest an additional $1 billion in rail improvements that will speed the flow of goods across the country while reducing local road traffic.