Port Tracker survey indicates US peak season to be better than last year

Time:2012-07-12 Browse:16 Author:RISINGSUN
IMPORT cargo volume at major retail container ports in the United States is expected to increase 1.6 per cent in July year on year, and modest increases are expected through the peak season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

"Economists and commentators are talking the economy down," Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. "Despite the mixed signals, we remain optimistic that consumers will remain in the market."

Said NRF vice president Jonathan Gold: "Retailers are being cautiously optimistic. Sales can fluctuate from month to month, but import numbers show that retailers are still expecting this year to be better than last year."

US ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.34 million TEU in May, the latest month for which actual results are available. That was up 4.1 per cent from April and 2.3 per cent from May 2011.

June remained at an estimated 1.34 million TEU, the same as May, but up 4.7 per cent from June 2011. July is forecast at 1.38 million TEU, up 1.6 per cent from last year; August at 1.44 million TEU, up 6.2 per cent; September at 1.45 million TEU, up 6.8 per cent; October at 1.47 million TEU, up 12.6 per cent over lower-than-usual numbers last year; and November at 1.3 million TEU, up two per cent.

The first half of 2012 totalled an estimated 7.5 million TEU, up 2.6 per cent from the same period last year. The total for 2011 was 15.1 million TEU, up 0.6 per cent from 2010. NRF projects 2012 retail sales will grow 3.4 per cent to $2.53 trillion.

Numbers in this month`s report reflect the addition of Miami to the list of ports covered.

The survey covers Long Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Miami and Houston.