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Long Beach Harbor Traffic and Freight shipments down in  Spring 2009


Finally we are getting an answer as to why all those ships at sea are backed up beyond Seal Beach in what seems to be a bottle kneck of wait to unload and pick up new freight in the nation's busy harbors of California. As we stand each afternoon on a stroll and watch the huge freighters from around the globe sit in the water, barely moving, we ponder what is causing them to not move the products in and out. Why do they just seem still?


Port traffic at the Port of Los Angeles fell 35.3% in February compared with a year earlier as the global economic meltdown caused two side-by-side ports ( Los Angeles and Long Beach) to lows in import/export traffic not seen since 1997.


Traffic at the nation's biggest cargo container complex reflects the malaise that grips world economies. In Southern California, this is a trade gateway that supports more than 280,000 workers. Surprisingly, the prediction is that there is a bottoming out coming soon.  Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for business research firm IHS Global Insight predicts that the port will see some bottoming out and said that you simply have no trade if it goes too low.


The Port of Long Beach experienced a steeper decline than L.A. port as  shipping lines began using  smaller vessels that didn't require use of  Long Beach's naturally deep harbor.


Los Angeles port Marketing Director Mike DiBernardo commented on the downturn in shipping, and said that it was not a result of new regulations, but instead, economic factors beyond anyone's control at the harbor.  The ports  672 dockworkers on the day shift during the first part of March were 5% below the average in 2008. The good news is that it was 10% lower in February, so all are hoping these numbers are a positive trend.



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