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Peak shipping season in with a roar at Port of Long Beach

Truck Alert text message service rolled out in quest to improve efficiency

The Port of Long Beach recorded the busiest August in its history, moving 807,704 TEUs. (Photo: Port of Long Beach)

The Port of Long Beach reported Thursday that the “peak shipping season started with a roar” and had resulted in its strongest August on record. 

The port handled 807,704 twenty-foot equivalent units in August, an 11.3% increase from the same month last year. Imports were up 11.7% to 407,426 TEUs, while exports decreased 5.3% to 119,485 TEUs, the port said. The number of empty containers moved through the Port of Long Beach was up 19.7% year-over-year to 280,794 TEUs.

“It’s peak season now, but we’re likely to see continued cargo growth well into 2022,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “In order to stay on top of this cargo, ports will need to adapt. We will need to find the long-term solutions that will satisfy consumer demand, increase efficiency at the ports and reduce costs for our consumers.” 

One way the port is trying to increase efficiency is through the Truck Alert program it announced this week. Through the program, truck drivers delivering cargo to and from the Port of Long Beach can receive text alerts about traffic conditions.

“Truck Alert is designed to reduce road congestion by providing truck drivers an opportunity to improve scheduling and enhance turn times during the unprecedented cargo surge we’re experiencing,” Cordero said. “This new program will enhance our ability to move cargo quickly, safely and efficiently through the port.”

Users can text the keyword TruckAlert to 79516 to subscribe for notifications about road closures, crashes and other traffic conditions at the port, along with suggested detours. The service is free, but standard text messaging rates may apply.

The Port of Long Beach has broken monthly cargo records 13 of the past 14 months amid what it called “a historic surge” that began in July 2020. Through the first eight months of 2021, the port moved 6,346,377 TEUs, a 29.2% increase from the same period in 2020. 

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Click here for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.

Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.