Imports were up 16.7 percent from a year earlier and exports were up 11.6 percent. Overall container traffic rose almost 15 percent - the busiest April in the port's history. Inbound traffic had been slowing down in the first three months of the year, but the National Retail Federation recently projected that import cargo volumes at U.S. ports would be active through the back-to-school season (though May might be sluggish). From the California Apparel News:
"Consumers are spending despite gas prices and other economic concerns, so retailers are stocking up to meet the demand," said Jonathan Gold, the NRF's vice president for supply chain and customs policy. "These numbers show imports growing through the back-to-school season and even into the beginning of the shipping cycle for the holiday season. That's a sign that retailers are expecting a good year."
The April numbers at the Port of Long Beach aren't out yet.