WASHINGTON-Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to pick up 6.3 percent this month compared to August 2011, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
A joint statement from the two organizations said August should be the first of a string of months with gains in cargo volume, with retailers preparing for the holiday season. September should bring an increase of 7.3 percent over September of last year. This will be followed by a 13.2 percent gain in October and 2.4 percent rises in both November and December. Overall, 2012 should see an increase of 4.8 percent in cargo volume compared to 2011, the report said.
“These numbers all show significant increases for the months when retailers will be bringing merchandise in to the country for the crucial holiday season,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “Actual sales will depend on how consumers react to employment levels and other indicators, but retailers are clearly stocking up and hoping for a stronger fall and winter than they saw last year.”
In June, the most recent month for which numbers are available, the ports experienced a gain of 10.7 percent in cargo volume over June of last year. July’s numbers, when toted up, should show an increase of 2.6 percent over last year, the report said.