Holidays Retail Imports Up Despite Government Shutdown

MarineLink.com
Monday, October 07, 2013

Despite concerns over the government shutdown, import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to grow 9.1% in October over the same month last year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. The numbers reflect merchandise ordered months before the shutdown as retailers planned for the holiday season.

“With the holidays nearly here, retailers are making sure their shelves are well-stocked,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Cargo is continuing to move through the ports but the government shutdown has left some agencies short-handed, so NRF will monitor the situation closely as the holidays approach.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has furloughed 6,000 workers because of the government shutdown that began last week, but Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski said the impact at the docks should be “minimal” since ports will remain open, with inspectors continuing to work and process cargo. But other government agencies that have a role in clearing cargo at the ports have not remained as staffed as CBP, leaving retailers cautious.

The forecast comes as NRF is predicting that this year’s holiday sales will grow 3.9% over last year to a total of $602.1 billion. Cargo import numbers do not correlate directly with sales because they count only the number of cargo containers, not the value of the merchandise inside them.

August, September and October are the months when most of the holiday season’s merchandise is brought into the country. The 4.42 million cargo containers expected for those months combined is a 5.9% increase over last year and accounts for 25.6% of all retail imports for the entire year.

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.48 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was a 2.5% increase over July and up 3.8% from August 2012. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

September was estimated at 1.47 million TEU, up 4.9% from last year. October is forecast at 1.46 million TEU, up 9.1%; November at 1.33 million TEU, up 3.4%; and December at 1.31 million TEU, up 1.8%. January 2014 is forecast at 1.35 million TEU, up 2.9% from January 2013, and February at 1.18 million TEU, down 8.1% from last year.

The total for 2013 is forecast at 16.3 million TEU, up 2.7% from 2012’s 15.8 million TEU. The first six months of 2013 totaled 7.8 million TEU, up 1.2% from the first half of 2012.

Despite the current increases, container traffic growth overall has been slow this year, and the reduced demand for shipping capacity has ocean carriers cutting the number of vessels on the water and taking other steps, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said.

“The supply-and-demand balance dictates pricing,” Hackett said. “This has left the carriers to find ways to cut costs as a means to better financial results. Using larger ships is one solution, and larger alliances as a means to managing capacity is another.

globalporttracker.com
 

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Viking Orders 2 Liebherr Cranes

An LR 1300 with super lift equipment and an LR 1160 crawler crane will strengthen the fleet of Viking Cranes. The Tallinn-based company with branch offices

KPCT Launches New Gulf Service

Containerized volumes are steadily increasing on the East Coast of India. Keeping pace with the growth, Krishnapatnam Port Co. Ltd. (KPCT) now offers a new service to the Gulf sector.

Mayor Garcetti on Ratification of Port Labor Contract

International Longshore and Warehouse Union members have ratified a five-year contract governing pay and work rules at 29 West Coast ports, including those of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

News

Solarworld Wants Duties on Chinese Solar Goods in U.S. Extended

German solar manufacturer SolarWorld will apply to the United States for an extension of duties on Chinese panel imports that are due to end this year, weekly Euro am Sonntag said.

Sea Urchin Haven Disturbed by Oil Spill

Stephanie Mutz makes a living plucking sea urchins from the Santa Barbara coast and selling the prickly treasure to upscale restaurants in Southern California.

5 Tunisian Migrants Die in Shipwreck

At least five Tunisian migrants died on Saturday when their boat sailing to Italy capsized off the Tunisian coast, officials said. "A migrant boat carrying

Government Update

Solarworld Wants Duties on Chinese Solar Goods in U.S. Extended

German solar manufacturer SolarWorld will apply to the United States for an extension of duties on Chinese panel imports that are due to end this year, weekly Euro am Sonntag said.

Alaska, Washington to build Arctic Icebreakers

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, and Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington, have introduced a bill that would authorize the Navy to build up six icebreakers for use by the U.

Launch of First Future Destroyer, Hobart

Speech delivered by the Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews during the launch of Hobart - the first future destroyer: Thank you for being here on this very important day.

Logistics

Viking Orders 2 Liebherr Cranes

An LR 1300 with super lift equipment and an LR 1160 crawler crane will strengthen the fleet of Viking Cranes. The Tallinn-based company with branch offices

Red Tape, Industrial Relations Could Stifle LNG Potential

Australia could develop the world’s most technologically advanced LNG industry, according to a report by Accenture. But if industry is to reach its potential

KPCT Launches New Gulf Service

Containerized volumes are steadily increasing on the East Coast of India. Keeping pace with the growth, Krishnapatnam Port Co. Ltd. (KPCT) now offers a new service to the Gulf sector.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2290 sec (4 req/sec)