WASHINGTON-Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to remain at the same levels through July as last year, according to the most recent Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
According to the report, import cargo volume measured in 20-foot equivalent units is expected to increase by one-third of 1 percent in May, 1 percent in June and one-half of one percent in July. Volume in April, the most recent month with available data, increased 12 percent over March and 7 percent over April 2010—the 17th month in a row with a year-over-year increase. For the entire first half of 2011, import cargo volume is projected to show a 5 percent increase over the same period of last year.
“With rising gas prices and challenges in the labor and housing markets, consumer spending has slowed and retailers have adjusted their inventory levels accordingly,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “We are confident long-term consumer demand will grow, and that imports will pick up significantly in the fall.”