WASHINGTON–Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports, while remaining flat through the summer, should start growing again in the fall, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
With retailers looking to restock for the fourth quarter, September cargo volume should rise 10 percent over September 2010. October’s volume is expected to jump 18 percent and November’s volume is projected to rise 19 percent over the prior year.
In May, the most recent month with available numbers, U.S. ports’ cargo volume was up 1 percent from May 2010. For June, the report estimated that cargo volume will be down eight-tenths of 1 percent. For this month the volume is projected at 1.3 percent less than one year ago, while August should see an increase of six-tenths of 1 percent.
“With the economy facing continuing challenges, retailers are managing their inventory levels carefully,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “But the increases in import volume expected this fall are a clear sign that retailers are confident consumer demand will be there in the fourth quarter.”