by Bill McBride on 10/17/2012 05:41:00 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 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 September. 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 up slightly, and outbound traffic is down slightly compared to the 12 months ending in August.
In general, inbound and outbound traffic has been moving sideways recently.
The 2nd graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern for imports).
For the month of September, loaded outbound traffic was down 2% compared to September 2011, and loaded inbound traffic was up 3% compared to September 2011.
Usually imports peak in the July to October period as retailers import goods for the Christmas holiday - so imports might increase next month, but probably not by much.