Guest post by Mark J. Perry
The Port of Los Angeles released data April 14th on March shipping volume, and the number of loaded outbound export containers in March surged to a new, all-time record high of 192,849 TEUs (20-foot-long cargo containers), far surpassing the previous record of 175,262 TEUs set back in August of 2008 (see chart above).
Total shipping volume at the Port of Los Angeles in March was 600,796 TEUs, which was the highest shipping activity for the month of March in four years, since the 629,000 TEUs in March of 2007 before the recession started.
The export surge in March could be attributed to: a) the falling value of the U.S. dollar making American products more competitive in world markets, and b) the general economic worldwide recovery leading to increased demand for U.S. products overseas. In either case, the BEA trade report for March should reflect a huge increase in U.S. exports, which would have a positive impact on first quarter GDP.
Speaking Of Precision: We are encouraged by this news, but wonder just what is in all those containers, as the US’s top ten container exports tend to be waste paper and other scrap and raw materials.