West Coast Port Volume Drops In July

August 24, 2001

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At a time when container imports from Asia should be moving into peak season, West Coast ports describe July's volume as disappointing, according to Journal of Commerce.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma reported an 18 percent drop in imports from last year, while Long Beach reported a 7.4 percent drop. Los Angeles was the only large container port to experience an increase, reported the paper, but its imports were only up 2.7 percent.
However, last year was an especially strong peak shipping season. Even though July imports were lower than last July, volume at the Port of Long Beach recorded its highway volume since November 2000.
July is considered the beginning of the peak shipping season. Merchandise that retailers will sell during the Christmas shopping season begins to enter the country in July, reaching a peak in September and October. Because of uncertainty in the economy, many retailers held off placing orders for holiday merchandise, reports the paper. As a result, some of the freight that normally would have come in to the West Coast last month will not show up until the fall.

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