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Rail News: Intermodal

L.A.-area ports to boost volume in '08 after lackluster '07, report says

International trade activity in the Los Angeles area will increase modestly in 2008 after slipping slightly in 2007, according to a report issued by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC).

The number of containers handled by the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, Calif., is projected to increase 1 percent to 15.8 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the report states. Last year, the port's volume declined 0.6 percent.

"The boom in export activity should remain in place in 2008 as the U.S. dollar continues to weaken," said LAEDC Senior Vice President Jack Kyser in a prepared statement. "However, import volumes will continue to be lackluster."

In 2007, the L.A. port remained No. 1 in the nation in loaded containers handled, but its volume decreased 0.1 percent to 5.7 million TEUs. The Long Beach port — No. 2 in the nation — increased volume 4.1 percent to 499 million TEUs. No. 3 New York/New Jersey posted a 7 percent volume gain to 3.93 million TEUs. Combined, the L.A. and Long Beach ports remained in fifth place among the world's major container ports, the report states.

China last year remained firmly in first place as the Los Angeles Customs District's top trading partner with two-way trade value of $183.3 billion. Japan finished second at $60.5 billion and South Korea third at $24.6 billion. The top import commodity into Los Angeles was electrical equipment, TVs and electronic parts (valued at $58.3 billion) and top export was the same commodity (valued at $17.4 billion).

LAEDC is a private, non-profit organization that aims to attract, retain and grow business and jobs in Los Angeles County.

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