LA area Port Traffic: Imports increased, Exports decreased in September
Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported - and usually some hints about the trade report since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation's container port traffic.
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).
To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the first graph shows the rolling 12 month average.
Click on graph for larger image.
On a rolling 12 month basis, inbound traffic was up 1.0% compared to the rolling 12 months ending in August. Outbound traffic was down 0.3% compared to the rolling 12 months ending in August.
The 2nd graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern for imports).
Usually imports peak in the July to October period as retailers import goods for the Christmas holiday, and then decline sharply and bottom in February or March depending on the timing of the Chinese New Year.
This was the highest level of imports ever for the month of September - following record imports in July and August - suggesting the retailers are optimistic about the Christmas Holiday shopping season.
In general imports have been increasing, and exports are mostly moving sideways to down recently.