February 4, 2021 — During 2020, the Port of Long Beach surmounted an unprecedented pandemic to shatter cargo record after record on the way to its busiest year ever, Executive Director Mario Cordero said Thursday in a video State of the Port address.
In the first-ever virtual State of the Port address — available for viewing now at www.polb.com/stateoftheport — Cordero said because of the collaborative steps taken by supply chain stakeholders to keep the docks operating safely, the Port stands ready to play a major part in an economic renewal in the latter part of this year.
Integral to that recovery is the immediate vaccination of waterfront workers who continue to leave their homes to move the goods their fellow Americans are using as they isolate to protect themselves from COVID-19.
“The workforce is essential to keeping our economy moving, and they have put their health on the line,” Cordero said. “As ports, we cannot avail ourselves of the benefits of cargo volume without acknowledging the men and women who have continued to report to work, day in and day out, during the COVID crisis.”
“We’re so thankful to all the men and women, especially those on the frontlines — the essential workers and first responders — who continue to get us through this pandemic,” added Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “Many people also work from home to keep the Port going, even as they care for their families and educate their children.”
In the address, Cordero and Colonna recapped a 2020 in which the Port of Long Beach also made progress on important projects and initiatives, including opening the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, moving ahead with the final phase of the Long Beach Container Terminal, beginning work on a second mainline track to the Port’s southern terminals and advancing plans for all-zero emissions cargo movement by 2035. The projects, the officials said, make the “Port of Choice” more efficient and sustainable, and ultimately more competitive.
Last year included the top four best months and the most active quarter in the Port’s 109-year history. The Port ended 2020 with a record 8,113,315 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved. In a reflection of the extraordinary amount of cargo being directed through Long Beach, the Port handled 764,006 TEUs in January 2021, making it the busiest first month of any year.
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $170 billion in trade annually, supporting more than 575,000 Southern California jobs.