Port activity dips in January
March 6, 2012
West Coast ports saw positive trends in January to start off 2012. January volumes were nearly unchanged from December, and that kept the year-over-year comparisons positive for the second straight month, up 1.7%. Prior to December, year ago comparisons had been negative for seven straight months. Volumes in January were at 1.644 million TEUs.
When accounting for typical seasonality, imports were very strong in January, helped by an early Chinese New Year. Much of this strength may have been volume pulled forward from February.
Chinese New Year
With the Chinese New Year falling in late January this year, volume likely moved early to beat the two-week holiday shutdown. This is an earlier than normal date and may help explain some of the recent strength. Expect shippers to favor East Coast routings for the next few months if normal seasonal patterns prevail.
TEU: Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit
The standard unit for describing a container ship’s cargo carrying capacity, or a shipping terminal’s container cargo handling capacity. A standard forty-foot international container (40x8x8 feet) equals two TEUs (each 20x8x8 feet)
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