Year-over-year cargo volume at U.S. ports increased in December for the first time in 28 months, according to the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. "It's the first strong sign that a recovery is finally under way," said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates. The report predicts ports on the West Coast will see the strongest recovery, with volume at Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., growing by 3% year-over-year for the first half of 2010.

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