Last month was the busiest January on record for the Port of Long Beach, with a 21.9% increase in units moved compared to January 2020, port official announced Thursday.

The busy month was caused by an ongoing increase in U.S. consumers shopping online during additional stay-at-home orders for the COVID-19 pandemic. Port officials said many people were buying home improvement items and office equipment.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 764,006 20-foot equivalent units in January, marking the first time the port handled more than 700,000 units in the month of January. The port surpassed the previous January record for units moved, set in January 2018, by 106,176 units, port officials said.

“After the volatility with cargo volumes in 2020, we hope to see some stability and continued economic recovery over the next year as we remain focused on attracting business and building for the future,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach.

“We remain focused on the health and safety of our dockworkers as they continue to unload a record-breaking amount of cargo from a surge of container vessels calling at the Port.”

While in past years, February is a slow month for the port, port officials expect it to be busier than usual.

“Trade moving through the Port of Long Beach will be a vital key to the economic recovery we hope to see this year,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We’re staying the course by focusing on attracting business, growing our market share and continuing to build for the future.”

The port also had a record-breaking year in 2020, when it moved 8,113,315 units.

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