The Port of Los Angeles in September saw its busiest month in eight years, as larger cargo ships called at the port and retailers rushed in goods for the holiday season.
The port said cargo volume -- including imports, exports and empty containers -- rose 9% from a year earlier. The 775,133 container units that passed through the port last month were the most since August 2006.
Imports increased 11%, while exports rose just 0.2%, the port said this week.
An improving economy, a shift to massive container ships and the upcoming holiday shopping season are boosting traffic at the port.
Cargo shipments also have risen this year at the neighboring Port of Long Beach. That facility has yet to release September figures.
The cargo surge has magnified long-running congestion issues at the ports and slowed the movement of goods from the docks to inland warehouses, trucking companies say.
In the first nine months of 2014, overall volume at the L.A. port has risen 7.8% compared with the same period last year.
The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle about 40% of all U.S. imports.