WASHINGTON — A Fitch Ratings report released this month lengthens the shadow cast over transportation credits by the economic downturn. However, the agency predicted an eventual upturn for seaports.

Fitch analysts are predicting a “slow and gradual recovery” for the U.S. seaport sector. It may take several years for maritime trading volume to return to the “historic peak volumes seen in 2007,” the report said, adding that could mean “trouble for ports or terminal transactions with growing debt-service obligations.”

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