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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LA area Port Traffic: Imports increasing

by Calculated Risk on 6/17/2014 05:12:00 PM

Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported - and possibly some hints about the trade report for May since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation's container port traffic.

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).

To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the first graph shows the rolling 12 month average.

LA Area Port TrafficClick on graph for larger image.

On a rolling 12 month basis, inbound traffic was up 0.4% compared to the rolling 12 months ending in April.   Outbound traffic was up 0.1% compared to 12 months ending in April.

Inbound traffic has been increasing, and outbound traffic has been moving up a little recently after moving sideways.

The 2nd graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern for imports).

LA Area Port TrafficUsually imports peak in the July to October period as retailers import goods for the Christmas holiday, and then decline sharply and bottom in February or March (depending on the timing of the Chinese New Year).

Imports were up 5% year-over-year in May, however imports were only up 1% year-over-year.

Imports were 4% below the all time high for May (set in May 2006), and it is possible that imports will be at a record high later this year.