Ports covered by the National Retail Federation’s Global Port Tracker handled 1.77 million TEUs of imports in October, up 0.3 percent from September and a year-over-year boost of 5.9 percent.
Ports covered by the Global Port Tracker are expected to collectively handle 20 million TEUs of imports for 2017, which would be a 6.4 percent increase from last year’s record of 18.8 million TEUs.
Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports held strong in October, according to the latest monthly Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.
Ports covered by the Global Port Tracker handled 1.77 million TEUs of imports in October, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available, up 0.3 percent from September and a year-over-year boost of 5.9 percent.
For November, ports covered by the Global Port Tracker are expected to have handled 1.64 million TEUs of imports, down 0.3 percent year-over-year, while December is forecast at 1.6 million TEUs of imports, which would be a 1.5 percent year-over-year increase.
November figures are already starting to surface, with the Port of Virginia handling 110,673 TEUs of loaded containerized imports during the month, up 8.7 percent from November 2016, the port said.
Overall, the Global Port Tracker expects the ports it covers to collectively handle 20 million TEUs of imports for 2017, which would be a 6.4 percent increase from last year’s record of 18.8 million TEUs.
Looking ahead, the Global Port Tracker report forecasts the following import figures for each month for ports covered across the Global Port Tracker, compared to the same month in 2017:
• January at 1.67 million TEUs, down 0.5 percent;
• February at 1.6 million TEUs, up 11.6 percent;
• March at 1.5 million TEUs, down 2 percent;
• And April at 1.66 million TEUs, up 3.6 percent.
“The February and March percentages are skewed because of changes in when Asian factories close for Lunar New Year each year,” the NRF said.
Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said, “We expect the coming six months to continue to grow, although at a reduced rate on a year-on-year basis. The second half of 2018 will be weaker than the first half, but recession is not on the horizon.”
However, NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold expressed concern if the U.S. pulls out of the North American Free Trade Agreement or engages in other anti-trade policy that fails to recognize the increased employment and other contributions imports make on the U.S. economy, the NRF said.
“Despite constant threats from the administration regarding trade, especially free trade agreements, imports have been riding high,” Gold said. “Concerns continue about what will happen in 2018 and beyond.”
Global Port Tracker, which is produced by Hackett Associates for the NRF, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami and Houston.