WASHINGTON-Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is projected to increase 8.5 percent this month over September of last year, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy, said, “Retailers are bringing in more merchandise for the holiday season this year.” Observing the labor dispute between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (talks broke down between the two sides in August, and strikes by ILA locals have become a possibility), Gold added, “Regardless of what happens with contract talks, retailers have contingency plans in place to ensure that merchandise reaches store shelves in time, and that there is no disruption for shoppers.”
In July, the most recent month with available data, U.S. ports followed by the Global Port Tracker report increased their cargo volume by 2.2 percent over July 2011. For August, the report predicted a 4.4 percent gain.
October’s increase is projected at 11.7 percent, while November’s volume is expected to pick up 1.9 percent. December should bring a 2.7 percent increase, followed by a 3.8 percent gain in January, the report said.