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Cargo volumes plummet

Cargo volumes plummet
There has been a steep drop in oceangoing cargoes moving through the US West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

There has been a steep drop in oceangoing cargoes moving through the US West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

There has been a steep drop in oceangoing cargoes moving through the US West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Year-on-year volumes fell 36.6% in February, according to separate sets of statistics released by the two ports.

The slowdown was much more pronounced than in January, when the year-on-year decrease in cargo traffic at the two ports was 18.7%.

The two ports showed inbound cargoes down 38.8% and outbound cargoes down 32.2%.

The Port of Los Angeles blamed a drop in consumer sales as US unemployment rates climb.

The Long Beach report showed inbound cargo for February down by 43.3% year-on-year.

"Over the last 20-something years, we haven't had too many declines and surely not on the order we are seeing now," said Long Beach port spokesman Art Wong.

In detail, Los Angeles and Long Beach in February loaded inbound cargo of 355,934 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units), down from 581,676 TEU a year ago.

Outbound February cargoes at the ports were 204,376 TEU, down from 301,402 TEU in February 2008.

The ports are the two of the busiest in the United States, handling more than 40% of imported consumer goods and are a centre for bunkering.

In 2008, bunker sales volumes were around 3.5 million metric tonnes, according to port authority figures.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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