PORT OF L.A. CONTAINER VOLUMES SHOW SLIGHT INCREASE IN DECEMBER; 2009 ENDS STRONG ON EXPORTS


PORT OF L.A. CONTAINER VOLUMES SHOW SLIGHT INCREASE IN DECEMBER; 2009 ENDS STRONG ON EXPORTS

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Jan. 14, 2010 — The total number of containers shipped through the Port of Los Angeles in December increased slightly compared to the previous year, giving December numbers the only year-over-year monthly increase of the entire calendar year. The volume of loaded outbound containers in December also continued to climb, fueling more speculation that the international container trade will start to recover in 2010.

The total number of Twenty-Foot Equivalent (20-foot containers or “TEUs”) imported and exported through the Port of Los Angeles in December was 562,990, a .35 percent increase compared to 561,033 TEUs in December 2008. Loaded container exports were up a whopping 40.23 percent at 153,836 TEUs compared to 109,704 TEUs in December 2008.

For calendar year 2009, total container volume decreased by 14 percent over 2008. The decrease was due to the global recession and a lack of consumer spending, particularly in the United States.

“December showed that retailers maintained lower inventories through the holiday season, but the spike in loaded outbound containers was a nice way to put a tough year behind us,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “We are cautiously optimistic about 2010, hoping that consumer confidence will start improving inbound volumes and the market recovery overseas will continue to drive our export volumes.”

A long-term forecast prepared by the Tioga Group for the Port of Los Angeles in 2009 indicates that the recession and its effect on international container trade are expected to level out with modest growth in 2010.