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Box traffic keeps falling

Box traffic keeps falling
The top 10 US box ports registered their 19th-straight [year-on-year] decline in monthly box volumes in February, a clear indication of slowing economic growth.

The top 10 US box ports registered their 19th-straight [year-on-year] decline in monthly box volumes in February, a clear indication of slowing economic growth.

The top 10 US box ports registered their 19th-straight [year-on-year] decline in monthly box volumes in February, a clear indication of slowing economic growth.

The statistics, from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and IHS Global Insight monthly Port Tracker report, cover total box volumes handled at key US box ports in California, Texas, Washington, New York/New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina.

The report pegged February throughput at one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 17.7% down from throughput for the same month last year.

January throughput of 1.05 million TEUs fell 14.6% compared with January 2008 volumes. Compared to December's throughput the decline was 0.5%.

February is, however, "traditionally the slowest month of the year", the report stated. An influx of spring and summer merchandise could help see a gradual increase in volume nearer the holiday season.

Slumping box traffic is not confined to the US, and has been a global phenomenon since the onset of the current economic downturn.

Other global powerhouse economies such as China have suffered a slowdown in trade and commerce too.

The volume of containers handled in Chinese ports in February fell 17% year-on-year as the country's export sector slowed, reports said.

Last month, box volumes amounted to 6.97 million TEUs, representing a 22.5% fall from January's 8.99 million TEUs.

Collapsing consumer demand in the US and Europe has hit the Asian export markets and China's exports in January fell 17.5% and imports plunged 43.1% from a year ago.

January had marked the third consecutive monthly fall in both exports and imports.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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