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National Retail Federation Reports Import Cargo Continues to Rise Despite Red Sea Disruptions; Jonathan Gold and Ben Hackett Share

National Retail Federation Reports Import Cargo Continues to Rise Despite Red Sea Disruptions; Jonathan Gold and Ben Hackett Share


UNITED STATES
Monday, February 12th, 2024

Recent reports show that attacks on ships in the Red Sea have led to disruptions at major United states ports. However, despite these impacts, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has predicted that inbound cargo volume will see year-over-year increases through the first half of the year.

Jonathan Gold, Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation“Only about 12 percent of the U.S.-bound cargo comes through the Suez Canal but the situation in the Red Sea is bringing volatility and uncertainty that are being felt around the globe,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “U.S. retailers are working to mitigate the impact of delays and increased costs. However, the longer the disruptions occur, the bigger impact this could have. More needs to be done among partners and allies to ensure the safety of vessels and crews in order to avoid yet another year of supply chain disruption.”

As Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett shared, carriers are using a surplus of capacity built up during the pandemic to ease the impact as voyages are diverted around the Cape of Good Hope or to the U.S. West Coast, and improvements are already being seen.

Although disruptions are being felt due to the Red Sea disruptions, the National Retail Federation reports that cargo volume is expected to increase

U.S. ports covered by NRF and Hackett Associates’ Global Port Tracker handled 1.87 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units—one 20-foot container or its equivalent—in December, the latest month for which final numbers are available. As a press release went on to note, these numbers show a decrease of 1 percent from November, but are up 8.3 percent year over year; December’s results brought 2023 to 22.3 million TEU, down 12.8 percent from 2022.

Ben Hackett, Founder, Hackett Associates“The shipping industry has rapidly adjusted by adding extra vessels to its networks, and has returned to normal weekly ship arrivals,” Hackett said. “Service from Asia to the U.S. East Coast is working well and the dramatic rise in freight rates is showing signs of easing, with pressure from shippers likely to quickly bring these down.”

While ports have not yet reported their numbers for the month of January, the Global Port Tracker projected the month at 1.81 million TEU, up 0.3 percent year over year. February is forecast at 1.86 million TEU, up 20.4 percent year over year; and March is forecast at 1.71 million TEU, up 5.5 percent from last year.

According to NRF, those numbers would reportedly bring the first half of 2024 to 11.1 million TEU, up 5.3 percent from the same period last year.

For more updates on United States ports and the overall transportation sector, keep reading Deli Market News.

National Retail Federation
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