Ports to Break Cargo Records as Peak Season Starts

While October is usually the busiest month of the year at the nation’s major retail container ports, when final figures are in, this August’s volumes are expected to reach 1.56 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent units), which will be larger than last October’s record volume of 1.51 million TEU.

Congestion at the ports is rated as being low. Those ports include Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, VA, Charleston, SC, Savannah and Houston

These predictions are part of Port Tracker, a research report produced by Global Insight for the National Retail Federation. In its analysis, Global Insight takes into consideration inbound container volume, availability of trucks and railroad cars to move freight from the ports, labor conditions and other matters.

Looking beyond August, Paul Bingham, Global Insight economist, says that, “September will be slightly slower but will still top last October. This October will set another whole new record. Despite the heavy volume, all the ports we cover are operating without congestion from harbor to gate. Shippers can be confident the system will have adequate capacity to provide acceptable performance for the remainder of the year. Rail performance for getting cargo away from the ports continues to be below last year’s levels, but is still acceptable and should be adequate for the peak season surge in volume.”

Volumes are expected to be 1.52 million TEU this September, an increase of 2.1% from September 2006. This October is expected to again set a new record as it reaches 1.57 TEU, a climb of 4.1% year over year.

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