Retail Import Growth Expected to Slow Significantly through Summer

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
file image, container ships at port of Oakland (courtesy: Captain Katharine Sweeney)

Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 3.3% in May over the same month last year but growth could trickle to a standstill by the end of the summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“The weak cargo increases expected over the next few months are consistent with other signs that the economy is slowly improving but show that retailers remain cautious, especially when it comes to stocking their inventories,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We’re looking at barely 1% of year-over-year growth through the early summer, and August and September are expected to be basically flat even though they’re supposed to be two of the busiest months of the years.”

“With consumer confidence low, employment struggling to recover and less money in shoppers’ pockets because of the payroll tax hike, we need to see action from Washington that will provide some fiscal certainty for families and businesses alike,” Gold said.

Cargo import numbers do not correlate directly with retail sales or employment because they count only the number of cargo containers brought into the country, not the value of the merchandise inside them. But the amount of merchandise imported nonetheless provides a rough barometer of retailers’ expectations.

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.14 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in March, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 10.9% from February and 8.6% from March 2012. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

April was estimated at 1.29 million TEU, down 1.4% from a year ago. May is forecast at 1.42 million TEU, up 3.3% from last year; June at 1.4 million TEU, up 1.4%; July at 1.43 million TEU, also up 1.4%; August at 1.43 million TEU, up 0.1%, and September at 1.41 million TEU, unchanged from last year.

The first six months of 2013 are expected to total 7.8 million TEU, up 2% from the first half of 2012. The total for 2012 was 15.8 million TEU, up 2.9% from 2011.

“Despite the Fed pumping liquidity into the market, consumer confidence still has not turned the corner,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “We need to see the economy strengthen in the coming quarters before we can begin to see the threat of a further economic downturn dissipating. Trade will remain at low growth levels until we reach this stage.”

www.globalportracker.com

www.nrf.com
 

Maritime Reporter February 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Zamakona, Finnish GS-Hydro Ink Deal

The presentation ceremony of the Finnish multinational leader in water services GS-Hydro, new partner of Zamakona Yards in Canarias was held yesterday (January 29th at 7 p.

Adani Group Revamps Businesses

Adani Enterprises Limited together with its subsidiaries Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (“APSEZ”) and Adani Power Limited (“APL”) today announced

PHA Budgets $ 275 mi for Capital Improvements

In 2015, the Port of Houston Authority has budgeted $275 million for various capital improvement projects. About $184 million is being allocated to its container

Container Ships

Imabari to Build 20,000TEU Containerships

Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. announced it has secured newbuild orders with the cooperation of Marubeni Corporation for 11 units of 20,000TEU Ultra-Large Container Carriers,

Congestion is Port of Long Beach’s Toughest Issue

Slangerup’s State of the Port address outlines goals for Energy Island, smarter supply chain   In his first-ever State of the Port address, Port of Long Beach

Imabari Bags Order for 11 ULCCs

Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (Imabari), with the cooperation of Marubeni Corporation, has secured newbuilding order for eleven (11) units of 20,000TEU Ultra-Large Container Carriers,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.2189 sec (5 req/sec)