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Shipments to Port of L.A. Increase

November 22, 2001|Bloomberg News

Imports through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach rose in October from the same month a year ago, as shipments of clothing, toys, consumer electronics and other holiday merchandise arrived. Exports fell.

Imports to the Port of Los Angeles, the No.1 U.S. seaport, rose 5.9% last month, the fifth straight increase, to 265,700 containers from 250,900 in October 2000. Shipments to the neighboring Port of Long Beach, the No.2 port, rose 1.1% to 238,200 containers from 235,500.

"October is historically one of our busiest months, a time when high volumes of holiday merchandise move through this port," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard Steinke. Companies placed orders for much of the newly arrived merchandise before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks led retailers to scale back expectations for the holiday shopping season, Steinke said.

If sales during November and December are weaker than projected in the days before the attacks, stores may be under pressure to cut prices and clear out excess merchandise. At the start of 2001, Gap Inc., the No.1 U.S. clothing chain, and AnnTaylor Stores Corp., a women's clothing retailer, lowered prices after the worst holiday season since 1995.

Exports from the Port of Los Angeles fell 3.2% last month to 90,800 containers from 93,800, a sign demand in Asian countries remains weak. At the Port of Long Beach, outbound shipments dropped 7.1% to 82,250, the 12th straight decline.

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