BMI maintains its cautiously optimistic view on the US shipping sector. After estimated contractions in TEU throughput at both the port of Los Angeles and the Port of New York/New Jersey in 2013, we forecast a return to growth in 2014 at both facilities. Our view for gradual strengthening in the US economy through end 2014 continues to play out, driven by a tightening labour market and sustained growth in the cyclical components of the economy, notably the residential housing sector and business investment in equipment.
We believe risks are weighted to the upside across the US economy. The most likely of these risks, we believe, is that a greater-than-expected improvement in the labour market or consumer sentiment leads to much stronger demand for goods and services. Such an outcome could also lead to stronger business investment in capacity and support further housing market growth, potentially pushing US real GDP growth above 3.0% this year.
Key Industry Data
At the port of Los Angeles (LA) we forecast 1.9% growth year-on-year (y-o-y) in total tonnage in 2014, to reach 64.3mn tonnes.
At the East Coast port of New York/New Jersey (NY/NJ), growth is forecast to be 3.1% y-o-y in 2014, to reach 139mn tonnes.
We expect LA to record growth of 8% in twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) throughput in 2014, falling to 8.4mn TEUs.
We expect NY/NJ to record a growth of 2.8% in TEU throughput in 2014, to reach 5.6mn TEUs.
Key Industry Trends
Savannah River Can Handle Major Container Port, Says Study
The Savannah River in the US could handle ships from both the existing Georgia ports and the planned Jasper Ocean Terminal, according to a study of the capacity of the river. The capacity study is due to be completed in summer 2014.
GPA ' s Container Volume Up 3.1% In April
The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA)'s container terminals registered a 3.1% rise in container throughput to 266,930 twenty-foot equivalent units in April. The ports also posted a 4.6% y-o-y increase...