Port Tracker expects US container traffic to rise 11pc in March
|March 15, 2011||Posted by Ocean Shipping Communication China under Port News||
IMPORT cargo volume through major us ports is expected to be up 11 per cent in March year on year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.
“These numbers show solid increases over last year and are evidence that our nation’s economic recovery is continuing to build momentum,” said federation vice president Jonathan Gold. “Increases in imports are a clear sign that retailers expect sales to continue to climb in the next several months.”
American ports surveyed 1.2 million TEU in January, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was up five per cent from December and 12 per cent from January 2010. It was the 14th month in a row to show a year-on-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-on-year declines.
February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, was estimated at 1.12 million TEU, which would represent an increase of 12 per cent over February 2010. March is forecast at 1.19 million TEU, up 11 per cent from a year ago; April at 1.24 million TEU, up nine per cent; May at 1.32 million TEU, up five per cent; June at 1.39 million TEU, up five per cent; and July at 1.45 million TEU, up five per cent.The first half of 2011 is forecast at 7.5 million TEU, up nine per cent from the first half of 2010. For the full year, 2010 totalled 14.7 million TEU, a 16 per cent increase over 2009. Last year’s percentages were high because 2009′s 12.7 million TEU was the lowest since 2003.
Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said recent political turmoil in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere is driving up oil prices and will likely increase shipping costs.
“Oil supply is going down as a number of nations have dropped out of the production cycle,” Mr Hackett said. “Freight rates have been decreasing but that will not last long as fuel costs are factored in.”
Global Port Tracker surveys Long Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah and Houston.