WASHINGTON–Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports should grow 9 percent this month, according to the latest Global Tracker Report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
This prediction indicates that retailers believe the holiday selling season will be a strong one, said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy. Nevertheless, “retailers know shoppers still have the economy in mind, so they are being very mindful with inventory levels this year,” Gold added.
U.S. ports handled 1.34 million 20-foot equivalent units in September, the most recent month with available data. This was down 6 percent from August but up 17 percent from September 2009, NRF said. September was also the 10th month in a row in which cargo volume improved year over year.
When the counting is done, October is expected to produce a 9 percent increase in cargo volume over last year’s October. For December, the year-over-year growth should slow to 1 percent, and rise to 7 percent for January before showing a 5 percent drop in February, according to the report.