San Pedro Bay Ports Container Volumes and Market Share

San Pedro Bay Ports Container Volumes and Market Share 1980 2023

Source: Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.

From 1980 through 2023, the lead status has shifted back and forth between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with Los Angeles holding the lead for 32 years and Long Beach holding the title for 11 years. The only time during these years that one port controlled more than 60% of the San Pedro Bay market share was in 2003, after the Maersk line moved from Pier J in Long Beach to Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles in the summer of 2002. The loss of the Maersk Line, the largest ocean carrier in the world, has kept Long Beach in the second position since then. Further, it took until 2017 for the San Pedro Bay ports to recover from their peak of 2005, which declined following the financial crisis of 2008-09. The surge in traffic in 2021 was attributed to the surge in imports related to the COVID-19 pandemic, notably a shift in consumption patterns (more appliances, furniture, and electronics). However, traffic substantially declined afterward to levels below pre-pandemic.