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Market Report, "United States Shipping Report Q1 2014", published

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2014-01-24 01:31:47 - Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "United States Shipping Report Q1 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research

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.

We continue to believe that the US consumer is slowly - and sometimes unsteadily - gaining momentum after several years of weak activity, providing a welcome boost to container volumes at US ports. A steady improvement in consumer confidence during the first nine months of 2013 also reinforces our view that private consumption will accelerate in 2014. As confidence improves, we expect consumers to be relatively more willing to spend on big-ticket items and shift relatively more

income away from savings and toward spending.

Our 2014 growth forecast of 2.7% represents a bounce from 2013, and we believe that the risks to economic expansion remain predominantly to the upside. Our core view on the US economy is that the recovery is becoming increasingly entrenched, and that by 2014 many of the headwinds to growth, including government spending cuts, will be dissipating. Not only do we expect accelerating growth in 2014, we believe the US economy could be on the cusp of a multi-year period of stronger growth.

Full Report Details at
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Key Industry Data

* At the port of Los Angeles (LA) we forecast 4.6% growth year-on-year (y-o-y) in total tonnage in 2014, to reach 72.7mn 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 147.8mn tonnes.
* We expect LA to record growth of 4.2% in twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) throughput in 2014, falling to 7.9mn TEUs.
* We expect NY/NJ to record a contraction of 4.8% in TEU throughput in 2014, to reach 5.6mn TEUs.

Key Industry Trends

Charleston Recovery And Growth On Course

We believe that the recent announcement concerning the Port of Charleston's substantial growth in container throughput bears out our forecast for a 3% increase in 2013. We view this as an early verification of the future success of the port's strategic focus on volume growth and expanding its deep water facilities to attract larger vessels following the completion of the Panama Canal project.

Port Authority Sanctions US$105mn For Port Newark-Elizabeth Complex

A sum of US$105mn has been assigned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to design, build and realign roadways in the Port Newark-Elizabeth complex in New Jersey, US. The Port Street Corridor Improvements Project at the north end of the port comprises work on the Port, Corbin, Marlin and Kellogg streets and Doremus Avenue as well as related intersections.

Florida Ports Look To Panama

BMI believes that funds recently approved for the development of a number of seaports in Florida will help the facilities capitalise on the upcoming opening of the expanded Panama Canal, scheduled for 2015, which will see larger vessels coming through the waterway. We would caution, however, that there are a raft of upgrades taking place at ports the length of the US East and Gulf Coasts, in addition to at Caribbean facilities, and so extra business is not guaranteed through the deepening of a port's draught.

Risks To Outlook

Political tensions in Washington present substantial downside risks to our 2014 forecasts. Furthermore, as we expect these dynamics will persist for the foreseeable future, we expect government policy to remain a persistent downside risk, more likely to hurt than help growth over the next several years. That said, many indicators suggest that our growth forecasts may be somewhat conservative. For 2014, in particular we could see stronger growth than the 2.8% we forecast, especially if growth falls below our expectations in 2013 due to political risk.

A collapse of the eurozone, which would hit the US via a financial sector shock and via trade channels. Further downside is presented by the expected slowdown in Chinese economic growth which will damage demand from the US's biggest export market. The eurozone is unlikely to be able to pick up the slack, due to the ongoing crisis there. BMI believes that the main risks to our outlook for US container shipping are on the downside. A bearish consumer outlook, combined with the withdrawal of shipping lines from the transpacific routes and cuts to federal funding for port projects mean that growth in the box shipping sector could be slower than expected.

Upside potential is presented to East Coast ports by the expansion of the Panama Canal, due for completion in 2015. The project will allow post-Panamax vessels to pass through the Panama Canal to call at east coast ports, bypassing the traditional US hubs of LA and Long Beach.

On the dry bulk side there is upside potential from the fact that we expect the US to become a net exporter of coal over the medium term as domestic demand slows and Asian demand remains strong. We are already seeing the development of new port facilities on the West Coast, such as SSA Marine's Gateway Terminal, in order to cater for an expected increase in coal shipments.

About Business Monitor International

Business Monitor International (BMI) offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to help senior executives, analysts and researchers assess and better manage operating risks, and exploit business opportunities, across 175 markets. BMI offers three main areas of expertise: Country Risk BMI's country risk and macroeconomic forecast portfolio includes weekly financial market reports, monthly regional Monitors, and in-depth quarterly Business Forecast Reports. Industry Analysis BMI covers a total of 17 industry verticals through a portfolio of services, including in-depth quarterly Country Forecast Reports. View more research from Business Monitor International at

About Fast Market Research

Fast Market Research is an online aggregator and distributor of market research and business information. We represent the world's top research publishers and analysts and provide quick and easy access to the best competitive intelligence available.

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