“Even as volume trails off over the winter, we’ll still see an increase in volume when compared to the same month a year ago,” said Paul Bingham, economist for Global Insight. Ports surveyed by Port Tracker reported handling 1.43 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in the month of October 2006, up 1.4% from September and 4.5% from October 2005.
October is the traditional peak of the annual shipping cycle as retailers rush to bring in merchandise for the holiday shopping season. Volumes in November were forecast for 1.33 million TEUs, 4.6% ahead of the prior-year period. December was expected to see 1.29 million TEUs, a 7% increase of the 2006 period.
The ports are operating without congestion, and no significant congestion is forecast over the next six months, according to Bingham.
Ports covered by Port Tracker include Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle on the West Coast and New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast.