WASHINGTON-Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 3.2 percent in April, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
In February, the most recent month with available data, the import volume handled by the ports rose down 5.7 percent from February 2011. For March, the report estimated that cargo volume would rise 9.6 percent from March of last year. May’s cargo volume is expected to be flat compared to last year.
Looking ahead, June’s volume is projected to rise 3.6 percent. For July and August, the report estimated increases of 1.9 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.
“Retailers are continuing to watch rising gas prices, but job gains and other indicators show the economy is strengthening,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “All this should improve consumer confidence and lead to increased spending, so retailers are cautiously building up their inventories.”