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Container imports at California’s ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., the biggest U.S. gateway for seaborne trade, rose 8.4 percent in June from the same month a year ago, reaching 767,059 20-foot equivalent units, a standard measure for container cargo. The growth marked an acceleration from the spring, and a booming early start to the seasonal shipping surge that typically peaks from July to September.
“Peak season has come early, so to speak,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, Calif., the nation’s second-largest container port.
The shipping rush comes as the Trump administration begins to impose new tariffs in a burgeoning trade showdown with China, including targeted levies on $34bn in Chinese imports and a promise of further duties on additional $216bn in Chinese products. Industry watchers say retailers and manufacturers are bumping up orders ahead of the tariffs.
“People are uncertain so they’re buffering,” said Lora Cecere, an analyst with research firm Supply Chain Insights. “They haven’t really experienced this level of uncertainty before and they’re not sure what to do about it.”
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