Container Traffic Increase at Port of LA – Asian manufacturing companies increased production in anticipation of the Chinese New Year and in effect, boosted the containerized imports at the Port of Long Beach. Compared to January 2011, imports increased 5.3 percent, exports increased 5.9 percent and total container volume increased 5.8 percent year-over-year. February, traditionally the slowest month, will show lower import volumes due to the Chinese New Year shutdowns.

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Obama’s Blueprint for U.S. Economy – President Barack Obama recently stated in his State of the Union Address that increasing U.S. exports is an essential part of his “blueprint to an economy built to last.” Obama’s “blueprint” outlines four pillars to be used as a foundation for creating a stronger economy. These pillars include: a commitment to homegrown and alternative energy sources, equipping workers with proper skills for a 21st century economy, a renewal of American values, and supporting the manufacturing sector.

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East Coast Ports Compete for Funding – During thiselection year, it is difficult for ports to obtain federal funds for expansion projects. President Obama has sent the FY2013 budget to the US Congress for approval this week which includes Charleston, Savannah and the Delaware River project; however, it is doubtful much of the budget will be approved due to the political environment.

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Trucking Limits Challenged – The American Trucking Associations, one of the largest U.S. trucking groups, has filed a petition challenging the Transportation Department driver-fatigue rules. The group claims that the regulations maintaining an 11-hour limit on a driver’s trucking day and a 34-hour rest period focus on the wrong aspects of driver safety. They assert that speeding causes more injuries and fatalities than fatigue; therefore, the group proposes the installation of speed-limiting devices on trucks instead.

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