Terminal operators moved 519,730 TEU last month, down 17.3 per cent from April 2019, which remains the port's busiest April on record. Imports slid 20.2 per cent to 253,540 TEU, while exports declined 17.2 per cent to 102,502 TEU. Empty containers headed overseas decreased 12.2 per cent to 163,688 TEU.
The port moved 2,202,650 TEU during the first four months of 2020, 9.5 per cent down from the same period in 2019.
"We look forward to a recovery stage and rebounding cargo shipments as the nation contemplates relaxing shelter-in-place orders, people return to work and consumer demand rises - however it will not be in the short term,” said the ports executive director Mario Cordero.
Decreased consumer demand during stay-at-home health orders prompted by COVID-19 drove down imports coming into the port. Exports were hampered by a shift of carrier services.
Manufacturing in China is rebounding from the pandemic, but demand in the United States is below normal due to the ongoing crisis.
While the Port of Long Beach had only one cancelled sailing in April, there are more to come. The San Pedro Bay port complex is expected to have 48 cancelled vessel voyages April 1 through June 30 - 16 of which are scheduled for the Port of Long Beach. The two ports reported 10 blank sailings during the same period in 2019.