Report: Container traffic will pick up in early 2010
Major East and West Coast ports in North America used by retailers will import a total of 13,715,000 TEUs in 2009, a 16.7 percent decrease from 16,473,000 TEUs in 2008, but traffic volumes in the early part of 2010 will be much higher than they were in early 2009.
That estimate comes from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates’ December Port Tracker report.
Hackett Associates will replace IHS Global Insight in January as the federation’s new partner in producing the report. Principal Ben Hackett is himself a former executive managing director at Global Insight.
The North American edition of the port reports on container transport through 11 ports, and may expand to include Canada's Prince Rupert and Halifax, Hackett said. His company is also planning to issue a similar report for North European ports.
The report said the first four months of 2010 are forecast to post large increases over the same period of the prior year (21.5 percent for the monitored West Coast ports and 13.3 percent for the monitored East Coast ports), but that growth rates compared to the prior four months are expected to be modest.
“Most ports have been able to build volumes since reaching a trough in the first or second quarter of 2009. But this growth has been modest, and has not been consistent. Looking ahead, a number of ports will continue to face an uncertain 2010, with growth limited if present at all,” the December report noted. “As volumes have decreased, a number of ports have delayed expansion plans, trimmed operational costs, and sought ways to operate more efficiently. Many on the East Coast are looking towards the completion of the Panama Canal expansion for long term increased volumes.”
Copies of the November and December reports are available here: