Friday, May 20, 2005

West Coast Ports: April Traffic Surges

by Bill McBride on 5/20/2005 04:35:00 PM

Import traffic surged in April for both the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. Thanks to Dr. Setser's site for these links.

For Los Angeles, the number of loaded inbound containers for April was 329 thousand, up 29% from March. Outbound traffic was flat (down 0.3%).

For Long Beach, the number of loaded inbound containers for April was 271 thousand, also up 29% from March. Outbound traffic was up 3%.

And in a related story, the West Coast ports will expand their hours to accommodate the expected surge in imports later this year:

Clogged with cargo and bracing for the onslaught of holiday-season imports, the largest U.S. seaport complex will begin this summer to charge a fee on peak-hours trade to encourage port usage on nights and weekends.

Operators of the Southern California seaports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will collect an estimated $160 million per year in fees on cargo delivered or departing during daytime hours, to pay for additional capacity during off-peak times.

The program is the first of its kind in the United States and is being closely watched by other U.S. port operators, said Bruce Wargo, the general manager of PierPASS, the not-for-profit group set up by port operators to administer the program.

Los Angeles and Long Beach form the country's primary trading gateway with Asia and handle more than $200 billion of cargo each year. The ports' top trading partners are China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan.

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