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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Interesting Maritime Port Data and Seaspan

We're probably overdue in updating our periodic "How's the Economy Doing" series, although we did include economic data in our "Which Way from Here?" presentation the other week. Below, we briefly share some data from The Port of Los Angeles regarding shipping tonnage. We're interested in the data because of our ownership positions in certain container shipping companies, including Seaspan (SSW, $10.36). We mentioned Seaspan in our presentation and also in early January here.

First, let's look at historical market development (source here) at The Port of LA in tonnes:

Second, recent monthly (December) and annual statistics (source) for containers (TEUs):
Finally, here are monthly 2009 container volumes -- note Y/Y improvement in December (*easy comparison) -- probably too small to read below, so please see source here if interested:

November containers (total - loaded and empty) were up 12% Y/Y while December's volume was up slightly (nearly flat) Y/Y. For calendar 2009, shipments were down 14% Y/Y.

While 2010 trends may remain subdued, stable to slight growth on easy Y/Y comparisons -- as in November and December -- is clearly preferable to continued declines. Per our prior posts, we believe improved global psychology is a positive for the overall economy. We plan to keep monitoring the data and will soon share a bit more on Seaspan.

Happy investing,

Jeffrey Walkenhorst
CommonStock$ense

Disclosure: long SSW.

© 2010 Jeffrey Walkenhorst
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