The port of Los Angeles last year became the first port in the US to ship more than two million export containers, according to statistics released by port officials. In December, the country’s busiest port handled 176,531 export containers, taking its total for 2011 to 2.11 million containers, shattering its previous record of 1.84 million, set in 2010. Los Angeles’s nearest rivals in the handling stakes are neighbouring west coast port Long Beach, whose best effort was 1.69 million export containers, and New York-New Jersey, which moved 1.62 million export containers, both in 2008. The surge in exports through the nation’s busiest trade gateway also helped Los Angeles to beat its 2010 overall handling totals. In 2011, the port handled 7.94 million containers, compared with 7.83 million in 2010.