• ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperShipping

NRF: U.S. container imports spike in January

Ports covered by the Global Port Tracker report handled 1.5 million TEUs for the month, up 4.4 percent from December and 21.4 percent from “unusually low figures” in January 2015, according to the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

   Import cargo volumes at major United States container ports are “building normally as the back-to-school season approaches,” according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. 
   Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled a total of 1.5 million TEUs in January, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available, up 4.4 percent from December and 21.4 percent from “unusually low figures” in January 2015. Those numbers came in slightly higher than a previous NRF estimate of 1.46 million TEUs.
   “Comparisons are still complicated because of last year’s situation at the West Coast ports but should clear up in the second half of the year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Year-over-year numbers are skewed but on a monthly basis imports are building normally as the back-to-school season approaches.”
   Looking forward to the rest of 2016, February (the comparison for which will also be skewed by last year’s congestion issues) is forecast at 1.4 million TEUs, a 17.1 percent year-over-year increase; March at 1.35 million TEUs, a 22.2 percent year-over-year decline due backlogged traffic returning to U.S. ports following the ILWU contract resolution; April at 1.49 million TEUs, a 1.8 percent year-over-year decline; May at 1.56 million TEUs, a 3.4 percent year-over-year decline; and June at 1.54 million TEUs, a 1.6 percent decline. 
   Total volumes in the first half of 2016 are expected to reach 8.8 million TEUs, down 0.2 percent from the same 2015 period.
   Given the decline in cargo volumes so far in 2016, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said recent decisions by major ocean carriers to deploy new ultra-large containerships on routes between Asia and the U.S. West Coast will likely cause rates to fall further at the risk of “chaos” in the balance between supply and demand.
   Third-largest container carrier CMA CGM recently announced it would deploy its flagship fleet of six 18,000-TEU vessels in the transpacific trade after successful test calls by the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle.
   “Does this make sense? Absolutely not,” said Hackett. “It flies in the face of financial and economic wisdom and totally ignores the state of the freight market.”
   Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by Hackett Associates, 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.

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