Except for the strain put on rail delivery due to Hurricane Katrina – which was relatively well contained to minimize its impact -- work by those in transportation, including shippers, made the season a success. The January Port Tracker report issued by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight notes that despite significant increases in traffic in 2005 over 2004, congestion levels were generally low.
“Despite natural disasters, increased fuel prices and continued rail capacity restraints,” says Global Insight economist, Paul Bingham, “there was no repeat of the congestion we saw in 2004.”
With most recent figures available through November, the ports surveyed handed 1.26 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) of container traffic during the month, which was up 3.8% over November 2004. Ports covered in the report are Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle in the West and New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah in the East.