WASHINGTON-Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is projected for a 2.7 percent increase this month, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
A statement on the report said U.S. Customs officials are trying to keep cargo moving through the ports, in the face of federal spending cuts that took effect in March as a result of “sequestration.” Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy, said, “Between their efforts to avoid delays and retailers’ adjustments to compensate, we’re not expecting consumers to see any difference on store shelves at this point. We are working closely with Customs to ensure that that remains the case.”
Cargo volume handled by the U.S. ports followed by the Global Port Tracker in February, the latest month with available data, jumped 17.5 percent from February 2012. The report said March’s cargo volume was expected to rise 2.6 percent from March of last year, while May’s volume is forecast for a 3.2 percent increase.
June’s volume is expected to edge up 1.8 percent, and July should bring a 1.5 percent gain, according to the report. August’s volume increase should be one-fourth of 1 percent