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LA area Port Traffic increases slightly year-over-year in December

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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).

Although containers tell us nothing about value, container traffic does give us an idea of the volume of goods being exported and imported – and possible hints about the trade report for November. LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation’s container port traffic.

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 is up 0.2% from November, and outbound traffic is up 0.1%.

On a rolling 12 month basis, outbound traffic is moving “sideways” for the last couple of months, and it appears inbound traffic has halted the recent decline.

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

LA Area Port TrafficFor the month of December, loaded inbound traffic was up 2% compared to December 2010, and loaded outbound traffic was up 1% compared to December 2010.

Exports have been increasing, although the rate of increase has slowed.

Imports have been somewhat soft – this is the first month with a year-over-year increase since May 2011.

All current trade graphs




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