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Consumer Demand Propels Record Number Of Imports At Port of Oakland

OAKLAND (CBS SF/BCN) -- Longshoremen at the Port of Oakland last month moved a record amount of imports for a single month, port officials said Thursday.

The port handled the equivalent of 100,096 20-foot containers in April, up 25% from a year ago, and the largest monthly amount of imports in the port's 94-year history.

For the first time, more than the equivalent of 100,000 20-foot containers were moved in a single month, according to port officials.

Longshoremen handled a record amount of import and exports combined in the first quarter of 2021, outpacing the previous first-quarter record set in 2019.

"We're sounding like a broken record, but containerized trade continues to flourish as the U.S. economy rebounds," Port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said in a statement. "And as we've said before, there doesn't seem to be a letup in sight."

Rebounding consumer demand has prompted U.S. retailers and e-commerce businesses to buy Asian goods at unprecedented levels, according to port officials.

Export volume in April dropped slightly from a year ago, possibly related to the record imports.

Exports slipped 3.7% due possibly to the need by Asian manufacturers for empty containers to send goods to the U.S.

Total trade volume, which includes exports, imports, and empty containers, increased 8 percent in April compared with a year ago the same month.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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