Thursday, March 19, 2009

What the Heck is a TEU?

TEU = Twenty-foot equivalent units, a standardized maritime industry measurement used when counting cargo containers of varying lengths.

The Port of LA has the February data. The LATimes reports as well.

Needless to say the results are catastrophic. No milder word will do. Down 35.30% from Feb 2008 which was already off the peak. The reasons they cite:

• Continued worldwide economic crisis contributing to a decline in trade volumes.
• Consumer sales are down due to high unemployment rates.
• 15 less vessel calls this February due to this decline and the consolidation of services in order to fill up the existing services.
• Chinese factories closed for an extended periods of time (beyond the normal time period) for Chinese New Year.
• Due to the lack of volume and Chinese New Year, Maersk 6700 TEU/week vessel did not make any calls in LA during the month of February (which is traditionally a low volume month).
• Anticipate this year’s volumes will continue to be below last year’s volumes because sales are still slow with most economists predicting there will not be any recovery before the second half of the year.

The fabled "second half recovery."


Mr. Outspoken said...

First you have to realize that US citizens will be buying all their consumer products from their unemployed brethren, so it is only natural that imports from godless communists will suffer.

Mr. Outspoken said...

Now that that's out of the way, I had to admit when I read the article one line jumped out at me:
Gault said. "We can't go down much longer or there will be no trade left."

Sounds like where he fears the bottom might actually be. The one thing guaranteed to stop hair from falling is the floor.

w said...

If shipping volume is dropping then we obviously need to tax the hell out of what's left. Anyone have a number handy to get Ahnold looking at this?

Unknown said...

What is this buy you speak of I thought it was going to be ...
I will trade you a pack of smokes and roll of TP for some green beans and rice .. well maybe not the smokes since this is Cali and well that is not very PC now

Ed S. said...


It’s just another data point in the story of the end of the US – China / ROW vendor financing scheme that’s been passed as an economy for the last 25 years.

Remember Lucent? Sold hardware (on credit, of course) to every dot com startup. Start up demand based on the old “this one goes to eleven” business plan goes into the crapper. No worries for Lucent, eh?

Now to go completely OT – it’s gonna be bad here, but worse elsewhere. In the intermediate term (like, say, 5 years), is there a whole helluva lot (ex-black gold) that the US REALLY can’t provide for itself? If we want to? Once China loses its export markets, what EXACTLY does it plan to do? Energy issues, environmental issues, population issues (too many XY – this may be a real issue), water issues, food issues. And they’re not in as bad a position as some…….

Sorry Dawg, just get tired with the EOTWAWKI all the time. We’ll have a 2nd half recovery – in 2012.

Michael Ryan said...

We've got a similar drop going on on the other side of the country at the Port of Virginia.