The nation’s second-busiest port handled 357,101 TEUs in imported goods last month, 18.8% more than the same time last year. Meanwhile, exports remained flat with a slight 0.5% dip from June 2020 with 116,947 TEUs. Empty containers rose 36% to 250,249 TEUs. The numbers reflect a cooling of consumerism as the world slowly reopens post-quarantine.
“We anticipate e-commerce to drive much of our cargo movement through the rest of 2021 as retailers plan for a busy summer season,” port Executive Director Mario Cordero remarked. “However, June serves as an indicator that consumer demand for goods will gradually level off as the national economy continues to open up and services become more widely available.”
The port saw fewer cargo vessels in June than it did in May because of a shift in services and delays stemming from a COVID-19 outbreak in China’s Yantian port, officials said.
In May, U.S. retail sales were 18% higher than pre-pandemic, even though consumer spending was down because of rising prices. In June, port officials expect consumers to spend at eateries, travel and other services as states begin to relax COVID-19 restrictions.