WASHINGTON-Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports should increase 3.9 percent this month, according to the most recent Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The gain should occur thanks to a strong start to the holiday shopping season, and in spite of a strike that closed the port terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., for the first few days of December.
“After a strong kickoff on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday season is looking good, and these numbers reflect that,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
A joint NRF-Hackett Associates statement said retailers are keeping an eye on a possible strike at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports. “NRF is continuing to urge labor, management and lawmakers to do whatever is necessary to keep our nation’s ports running smoothly,” Gold said.
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker reported a 5.2 percent increase in import cargo volume year over year in October, the most recent month with available figures. The report projected that November’s volume would decline 5.6 percent from November 2011, due again to the strike at Los Angeles-Long Beach terminals.
January’s import cargo volume should see 2 percent gain year over year, followed by 5.9 percent increase in February. The report added that March’s volume is forecast for a 2 percent increase, and April’s volume should be up 3.2 percent.