Global Port Tracker expects US November container volume to

Time: 2016-11-10 14:11
IMPORTS through big US container ports are expected to be up 4.4 per cent this month year on year and should see a slightly larger increase next month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
"Retailers are importing more during the holidays this year than last year and that can only mean one thing - they expect to sell more," said NRF vice Jonathan Gold.
"Most of the holiday merchandise is already here, but retailers are still restocking to be sure shoppers will have a broad and deep selection as they hit the stores over the next several weeks."
Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.6 million TEU in September, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 6.6 per cent from August, the busiest month of the year, and down 1.6 per cent from September 2015.
Volume rebounded in October to an estimated 1.67 million TEU, up 7.5 per cent from last year. November is forecast at 1.54 million TEU, up 4.4 per cent from last year, and December at 1.5 million TEU, up 4.5 per cent.
The numbers come as NRF is forecasting US$655.8 billion in holiday sales, a 3.6 per cent increase over last year. Cargo volume does not correlate directly to sales because only the number of containers is counted, not the value of the cargo inside. But it nonetheless serves as a barometer of retailers' expectations.
Cargo volume for 2016 is expected to total 18.6 million TEU, up 2.2 per cent from last year. Total volume for 2015 was 18.2 million TEU, up 5.4 per cent from 2014. The first half of 2016 totalled nine million TEU, up 1.6 per cent year on year.
January 2017 is forecast at 1.54 million TEU, up 3.6 per cent from January 2016; February at 1.49 million TEU, down 3.2 per cent from last year, and March at 1.38 million TEU, up 4.6 per cent from last year.
Said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett: "We are faced with imports growing two per cent this year. Unless there is a major disruption, growth should be modest but sustained during the first half of 2017."
Global Port Tracker covers Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami and Houston.
Contact:  Aster Chen
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