Skip to main content

As US ports go, so goes the US economy

By: Matthew Winkler | Mar 18 2016 at 05:00 AM | Ports & Terminals

You’ve heard it from Donald Trump. You’ve heard it from Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton chimed in. Some famous economists, too. It’s the idea that trade liberalization has sapped U.S. economic strength, and that it’s time to make it stop.

Flourishing U.S. ports tell a different story. Business is booming, and the unprecedented quantity and quality of port commerce announces their role as a leading indicator of America’s strengthening job market and her robust consumers.

Los Angeles and Long Beach, the continent’s two biggest gateways, reported the best February traffic in their histories going back more than a century. Total imports to the U.S. last month increased 27.4 percent from 2015, the most since 2010. Everything from furniture and electronics to apparel and machinery unloaded and distributed via Los Angeles surged 46.6 percent in February, the largest increase since February 2002. Long Beach traffic was up 44.7 percent in the same period, its biggest monthly gain since 2013.

This means that the economy is healthy and poised to get better, benefiting from trade that is expanding big and small businesses alike while creating more and higher-paying jobs.

Imports, Confidence and Jobs, 1999-2016

“I think we may be in a position to challenge the best year in the 108-year history of the Los Angeles port,” its executive director, Gene Seroka, said in an interview. That was 2006. 

He added, “The U.S. economy, not to be confused with the global economy, is strong and continues to grow.”

His counterpart at the Port of Long Beach, Jon W. Slangerup, said, “It looks like we will have the biggest first quarter in our 105-year history and the third quarter should be like the third quarter of 2015, which was a record.”

The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, which account for about 40 percent of all the goods entering the U.S., employ at least 60,000 people earning between $80,000 and $300,000 a year with retirement benefits that rival the most generous compensation in the history of organized American labor, according to Slangerup.

Total employment for all the U.S. ports, including the men and women transporting goods by truck and rail to destinations throughout the country, is about 50 times that number.

 And that doesn’t include all the jobs of people “getting goods to retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target,” Slangerup said.

Here’s more good news: The ports are doing more while polluting less. 

Long Beach’s Middle Harbor will become the “world’s first mega-terminal with zero emissions, the fourth-biggest port in North America and the world’s first all-electric port,” when it’s fully operational next month, Slangerup said.

That’s not to say there’s no downside to liberalizing trade. A much-discussed recent paper has documented the way increased trade with China hurt American workers. Economists are recalibrating their profession’s favorable outlook on free trade, though there’s certainly no emerging consensus for more protectionism.

Overall, the U.S. jobs picture has continued to improve as the ports boom. The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9 percent and is predicted to decline to 4.6 percent next year. The U.S. enjoys a perennial trade surplus in manufactured goods, excluding oil, with 20 countries with which it has negotiated trade agreements (China isn’t among them). And whatever disruption is caused by China’s slowing economy is increasingly offset by U.S. trade with Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, says Slangerup.

As U.S. port traffic began to surge last year, it coincided with growing confidence. 

The Bloomberg U.S. Weekly Consumer Comfort Index, which measures how consumers feel about the economy, the climate for purchasing goods and services and their personal finances, is the strongest since 2008. “Many industry observers look to us as a leading indicator,” says Seroka of Los Angeles, who at this point says “2016 will be better for us than 2015.”


American Journal of Transportation

Popular posts from this blog


While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…

DHL (INDIA) makes gifting mangoes as easy as 1-2-3-....

Gifting mangoes is now easy with DHL
Announcement / Corporate

 May 19, 2011, 14:04 IST

Come this summer pamper your loved ones abroad with a box of delicious mangoes through DHL’s Express Easy Mango service, a unique one-stop-shop and hassle-free service for gifting mangoes all across the world.

This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

Mangoes can be availed of free of cost by merely paying for the Air Express service. In addition, DHL Express assists customers with the necessary paperwork along with procurement of quality-grade Alphonso mangoes.

Commenting on the new service, Mr. R.S Subramanian, Country Head, DHL Express India said: “With the advent of the mango season, it is no wonder that DHL Express Ea…