West Coast ports recorded solid gains in container traffic in June, with imports up 4 percent over the same month last year, and total volume increasing 3 percent.
Exports, however, continued to lag, increasing only 1 percent compared to June 2011.
The container volumes reported in June by the Pacific Maritime Association for all West Coast ports were in line with the year-to-date trend for the first six months of 2012. The total volume of loaded containers increased 3 percent, imports were up 3 percent and exports increased 2 percent compared to the first half of 2011.
June was the second highest month of the year for imports, down slightly from May’s volume. The U.S. import trade from Asia is expected to increase in the coming months, peaking in September or October with holiday merchandise from Asia.
Exports have entered the normal lull that occurs each summer. Exports usually pick up with the fall harvest and build through the winter months, peaking in March. This year, however, the drought that is gripping 60 percent of the nation could reduce agricultural exports.
Also, U.S. exports will be further impacted as some European countries slip into recession, and the economies in China and India slow down.
Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @billmongelluzzo.