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            august 23, 2019

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US ports handle record import box volumes


US container import ports notched up another record-breaking year in 2018 but still came under pressure from the worsening trade row between the US and China, according to shipping agency BIMCO.
Container imports on both the US east and west coasts rose by 3.7 per cent and eight per cent respectively in the first 11 months of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017.
Record high levels of inbound laden containers were handled on both coasts in October with the US west coast processing 1.09 million TEU and the US east coast handling 910,000 TEU, reported London's Port Technology.
The US east coast, in particular, experienced significant volatility at the start of 2018, as its laden imports rose by 11.7 per cent in January year on year but then slid back to four per cent growth, a level that held for the remainder of the year.
In addition to both coasts enjoying import booms, several individual ports also handled record container volumes during October, also on the US east coast.
The ports of New York-New Jersey (339,602 TEU), Savannah (205,836 TEU), Virginia (125,404) and Charleston (98, 947 TEU) all set volume records in October.
BIMCO also said the frontloading seen at the end of last year is not expected to continue this year due to the uncertainty over US-China trade talks. If the talks flounder, new tariffs could be implemented as early as March.

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