Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "United States Freight Transport Report Q1 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/18/2013 -- Our overall outlook for the US economy is cautious and we maintain our outlook for subdued growth at the US's main container ports in 2013, on the back of continuing concerns about the health of the US economy. For 2013, we maintain our growth forecast of 2.1%, owing to increasing domestic and external headwinds. The downside shock risks remain prevalent, but the balance of evidence suggests that the economy has and will continue to avoid recession barring a major crisis. There are two major risks to the economy over the next six to 12 months. The first is the impending fiscal tightening set to impact in January 2013 absent an active policy decision to postpone. The second is the eurozone crisis, which threatens the global economy as a whole.
US freight volumes face headwinds in the form of sluggish private consumption recovery and slow demand for exports. US private consumption will continue to recover very slowly as a combination of still-high unemployment, ongoing deleveraging, low wage growth and a dependency on government transfers continue to weigh on spending growth. The US export sector is likely to face increasing headwinds from abroad, centred around reduced European demand amid a eurozone recession and potential for dollar strength. Just under one-quarter of US exports go to the European Union, and the European crisis is likely to impact upon non-eurozone demand for US goods and services.
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Key Industry Data
- At the Port of Los Angeles (LA) we forecast a 4.7% growth in total tonnage in 2013, to reach 69.5mn tonnes.
- At the East Coast port of New York/New Jersey (NY/NJ), growth is forecast to be 1.4% in 2013, to reach 143mn tonnes.
- We predict growth of 4.7% in air freight volumes, to reach 22bn tonnes-km in 2013.
- We predict growth of 4.6% in rail freight tonnes-km, to reach 3mn tonnes-km in 2013, with annual average growth of 5.4% during our forecast period.
Key Industry Trends
Shale Crude Opportunities For Rail Operators
BMI believes that there is huge potential for rail operators in North America to benefit from the explosion in domestic shale crude oil production. The growth of the industry has accelerated faster than pipelines have been built to transport the goods, meaning that rail is being increasingly used to transport crude to refineries.
Low Water Levels Present Downside Risk
BMI notes that downside risk is presented to our inland waterway freight cargo growth forecast for the year by current low water levels on the Mississippi River. The low levels have already significantly reduced traffic on the river, but levels are expected to fall so low that rocks will threaten boats, leading to calls for the Army Corps of Engineers to be called in to keep traffic flowing.
West Coast Ports Dredging For Survival
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