WASHINGTON-Cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is projected to increase 5.9 percent this month, according to the latest Global Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
That gain is expected to emerge in spite of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on some major ports. “Sandy certainly caused major problems that are still being cleaned up, but retailers managed to get their cargo into the country and will have plenty of merchandise on store shelves for the holidays,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president of supply chain and customs policy.
In September, the most recent number with available data, U.S. ports handled 3.3 percent more retail cargo than they did in September 2011. Global Tracker said October’s cargo volume is expected to rise 10.7 percent over last year. December should bring a 9.4 percent increase in cargo volume.
In the New Year, January’s cargo volume is projected for an 8.2 percent increase, followed by a 12 percent gain in February and a 1.6 percent pickup in March.
Regarding Sandy, Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said, “The New York/New Jersey terminals were impacted for a short period, but cargo destined for there was handled elsewhere until service returned. Rebuilding of infrastructure and homes should cause an uptick for imports of construction materials.”