Wednesday, March 02, 2005

LOVE THOSE IMPORTS


The US trade deficit is growing like gangbusters--so fast our ports can barely keep up!

It seems these days that the only thing keeping the trade deficit in check might be the capacity constraint of shipping logistics. We just can't get the imports in here fast enough!

From today's FT:

Container ships bound for California last year had to wait offshore for several days before a berth became free, delaying deliveries to retailers and pushing up costs for carriers and shippers.

If congestion persists, routing Asian-made goods through the Suez Canal and across the Atlantic might become a viable alternative, said John Isbell, director of logistics for Nike, the sports clothing brand.

Shippers have sought to bypass west coast congestion by redirecting cargo through the Panama Canal to east coast ports, such as Savannah and New York. But this is pushing the canal towards full capacity and forcing sharp increases in rates.

Mexican ports and more northerly west coast terminals, such as Seattle and Vancouver, have also absorbed some overspill but analysts said they were not big enough to resolve the crisis."

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