by Bill McBride on 3/14/2012 08:30:00 PM
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The following graphs are for inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container).
Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported - and possibly some hints about the trade report for February. LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation's container port traffic.
To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the first graph shows the rolling 12 month average.
Click on graph for larger image.
On a rolling 12 month basis, inbound traffic is down 0.9% from January, and outbound traffic is up 0.3%.
On a rolling 12 month basis, outbound traffic is moving up slowly, and inbound traffic is declining slightly.
The 2nd graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern for imports).
For the month of February, loaded outbound traffic was up 4.6% compared to February 2011, and loaded inbound traffic was down 12.5% compared to February 2011. (typo corrected, reversed inbound and outbound).
Note: Every year imports decline in February mostly because of the Chinese New Year.