Executive Briefings

In 2016, U.S. Seaports May See Modest Growth in Container Imports

Container volume at U.S. ports is expected to grow next year, but at a slower rate of three to four percent, down from five percent in 2015, says ratings company Moody's.

Since longshoremen wrapped up contract negotiations with port operators in early 2015, container volume at U.S. West Coast ports has risen quickly. Those ports experienced significant delays in 2014, and some of the growth this year is attributable to a clearing of that backlog, analysts say.

Now that the logjam has cleared and China's export economy has begun to slow, growth in 2016 is predicted to be positive but modest. China accounts for about one third of container moves worldwide, much of that volume destined for American ports; the official growth rate of Chinese industrial production hit a seven-month low in October (the latest figure available), although it remains positive at five percent.

Low oil prices, low container shipping rates, a stable labor situation and a strong dollar should contribute to steady U.S. port volumes, Moody's said.

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Since longshoremen wrapped up contract negotiations with port operators in early 2015, container volume at U.S. West Coast ports has risen quickly. Those ports experienced significant delays in 2014, and some of the growth this year is attributable to a clearing of that backlog, analysts say.

Now that the logjam has cleared and China's export economy has begun to slow, growth in 2016 is predicted to be positive but modest. China accounts for about one third of container moves worldwide, much of that volume destined for American ports; the official growth rate of Chinese industrial production hit a seven-month low in October (the latest figure available), although it remains positive at five percent.

Low oil prices, low container shipping rates, a stable labor situation and a strong dollar should contribute to steady U.S. port volumes, Moody's said.

Read Full Article