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National Retail Federation Expects Import Cargo Volume to Reach High Levels; Jonathan Gold and Ben Hackett Comment

National Retail Federation Expects Import Cargo Volume to Reach High Levels; Jonathan Gold and Ben Hackett Comment


WASHINGTON, DC
Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

You may recall a report from yesterday morning that outlined the end of the Canadian port strikes. This positive news contributed to expectations for cargo volume growth, as evidenced by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates’ Global Port Tracker report. According to the report, import cargo volume is expected to hit its highest level in nearly a year this month.

Jonathan Gold, Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation“Port and package-delivery labor negotiations that threatened the supply chain at the beginning of the summer have been resolved, and retailers are now focused on preparing for the all-important holiday season,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “There are always supply challenges to be faced, but holiday merchandise is flowing into the country, and we expect to see a smooth shipping season ahead of the winter holiday shopping season.”

Labor and management at West Coast ports reached a tentative contract agreement, the port strike in Canada ended with a tentative agreement, and United Parcel Service and Teamsters agreed on a tentative contract that avoided a potential August 1 strike.

The National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates released the Global Port Tracker report, outlining expectations for import cargo volume to hit its highest level in nearly a year as retailers stock up for winter holidays

United States ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.83 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in June, according to a press release. That was down 5.2 percent from May and down 18.7 percent year over year. That brought the first half of 2023 to 10.5 million TEU, down 22 percent from the first half of 2022.

Ben Hackett, Founder, Hackett Associates“Dollar figures for international trade show imports remain in a year-over-year decline and cargo volume shows the same,” Hackett Founder Ben Hackett said. “The discrepancy between rising growth in sales and declining cargo volumes is happening because retailers are working their way through inventory built up over the last 12–18 months. Cargo growth should resume as inventories are depleted.”

August is forecast at 2.03 million TEU, down 10.2 percent year over year. September is forecast at 1.97 million TEU, down 3 percent; October at 1.99 million TEU, down 1 percent; November at 1.92 million TEU, up 8 percent; and December also at 1.92 million TEU, up 10.7 percent.

More information can be found here.

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National Retail Federation
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