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Port Tracker: Congestion Outlook Low

Levels 'Low' at 75 Percent of Nation's Major Ports

Inbound container traffic is up at the nation's major ports, but last year's congestion does not appear to have returned, according to the National Retail Federation's new monthly Port Tracker report.

In its initial August Port Tracker, the three-level “Congestometer” found that congestion levels were currently at “low” for 75 percent of the nation's major ports, while 25 percent were at “medium” (Tacoma and Seattle) and none were at “high.”

Port Tracker, produced by the data analysis firm Global Insight for NRF, was developed in response to port congestion experienced in 2004, particularly at West Coast ports, and other recent port disruptions. The report assesses conditions each month at the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Road, Charleston and Savannah to make forecasts for the following six months.

The Tracker stated that the next six months are expected to see significant increases in inbound container volumes at Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma and slow, flat growth in Los Angeles/Long Beach.

The report looks at inbound container volume, the availability of trucks and railroad cars to move cargo out of the ports, labor conditions and other factor that affect cargo movement and congestion.

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