WASHINGTON–Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports should increase by 9 percent this month, versus April 2010, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
This prediction is based on the continuing economic recovery and retailers’ expectations for sales increases this summer and beyond, according to an NRF statement. “There are challenges ahead from rising prices for gasoline and other essentials, but inventories are under control and retailers are optimistic,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
In February, the most recent month with available data, U.S. ports handled 1.1 million 20-foot equivalent cargo units, up 10 percent from February 2010. The report estimated that March’s cargo volume would be up 11 percent year over year. For May, the report predicted an increase of 4 percent, for June an increase of 5 percent, for July a 5 percent gain and an 8 percent rise for August.
“The economy is slowly on the mend with many of the key short-term indicators providing positive directions,” said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates. “Consumers are buoyed by falling unemployment and are somewhat freer with their money.”