The Port of Long Beach has reported its busiest September ever, with cargo volumes increasing by 11.8% compared to the same period last year. This is the first monthly year-over-year cargo increase for the port in 14 months.

The increase was driven by high consumer demand for holiday-related goods, as well as the recent approval of a labor agreement between dockworkers and management.

Import volumes experienced significant growth, rising by 19.3%, while exports saw a decline of 10.3%. Empty containers moving through the Port also increased by 11.5%.

“Consumer confidence is on the rise and shippers can rely on the Port of Choice now that we have a ratified contract in place with our waterfront workforce,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “We look forward to a moderate rebound in cargo volume through the end of the year.”

Although the overall cargo volume for the first nine months of 2023 is down 20.7% compared to the same period last year, it is worth noting that this year’s cargo volume is on par with pre-pandemic levels. In fact, the Port of Long Beach handled over 5.7 million TEUs through September 2019.

Additionally, between July 1 and September 30, the Port processed 2,089,990 TEUs, representing a 10.5% decrease compared to the third quarter of 2022.

Overall, the Port of Long Beach is optimistic about the remainder of 2023 and expects to see continued growth in cargo volume.