Port activity rebounded in March
May 7, 2012
After a very weak February, West Coast ports rebounded strongly, making up nearly all of the lost volumes. The February weakness was due primarily to the date of the Chinese New Year. March volumes were up 21.0% from February, and the year-over-year comparison returned to the positive, +7.2%. This is the best prior year comparison since February of last year. Volumes in March were at 1.628 million TEUs. This is just below the 1.645 million TEUs that were moved back in January.
Import markets rebounded strongly in March, versus February. This accounted for most of the weakness in February’s data. Imports of containers was up more than 10% versus last year. After accounting for typically seasonality in this market, volumes grew an impressive 16%. Despite the strength seen in March, February’s very weak results are keeping full Q1 imports break even with last year.
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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