'I want to thank our frontline workers on the docks who kept cargo moving during this unprecedented moment in history, ensuring the safe, secure, and timely delivery of vital medical equipment and consumer goods,' said POLB executive director Mario Cordero.
The 8.1 million TEU moved is a 6.3 per cent increase compared to 2019. Imports rose 6.4 per cent to 3.99 million TEU, exports up 0.2 per cent to 1.48 million TEU, and empties increased 9.9 per cent to 2.64 million TEU.
'We have all endured incredible hardships with Covid-19, but I am looking forward to 2021 as a time of economic recovery and a renewed focus on our industry partners, infrastructure projects, and community stakeholders,' said Mr Cordero.
Mr Cordero stated the Covid crisis vaccine should be distributed immediately to longshore and other waterfront workers in the US.
'These essential workers have kept this country's supply chain functioning since Day One of the pandemic, and they are at high risk,' said Mr Cordero.
'We are concerned about labour at our nation's port gateways if we do not prioritise the distribution of the vaccine to the men and women on the waterfront,' said Mr Cordero.
'Covid-19 is having impacts across the supply chain workforce. While we don't have specific information on the various sectors, certainly the need to socially distance is impacting operations at warehouses and distribution centers,' he said.
The Covid crisis caused the first half of 2020 to see reduced consumer demand for goods, leading to a 6.9 per cent cargo decline.
Long Beach and Los Angeles saw 104 cancelled sailings during that period, up from 41 canceled sailings for both ports in the first half of 2019.
During the second half of the year, Long Beach saw 104 unscheduled containership calls that made up for 37 voyages.
The increased numbers were driven by medical equipment demand, home improvement items, exercise equipment and office furniture.