Executive Briefings

October Imports Spike as Retailers Prepare for Holidays

October is expected to be the second-busiest month of the year for the nation's major retail container ports as merchants stock up for the holiday shopping season, according to a report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker are forecast to handle 1.65 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in October - a 6 percent increase from last year, the report says. November is forecast at 1.54 million TEU, up 3.9 percent, and December at 1.48 million TEU, up 3.4 percent. The numbers come as NRF is predicting $655.8bn in holiday sales, a 3.6 percent increase over last year.

Cargo volume for 2016 is expected to total 18.6 million TEU, up 2.1 percent from last year. Total volume for 2015 was 18.2 million TEU, up 5.4 percent from 2014. The first half of 2016 totaled 9 million TEU, up 1.6 percent from the same period in 2015. Although cargo volume does not correlate directly to sales, it remains a barometer of retailers’ expectations, NRF says.

After a long period of high inventory levels, Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett noted that the retail industry inventory-to-sales ratio stood at 1.49 in July, the latest number available from the U.S. Census Bureau. That was down from 1.5 in June and a peak of 1.52 in March.

Volume dipped in September to an estimated 1.64 million TEU but was still up 0.9 percent from last year.

Source: NRF

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker are forecast to handle 1.65 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in October - a 6 percent increase from last year, the report says. November is forecast at 1.54 million TEU, up 3.9 percent, and December at 1.48 million TEU, up 3.4 percent. The numbers come as NRF is predicting $655.8bn in holiday sales, a 3.6 percent increase over last year.

Cargo volume for 2016 is expected to total 18.6 million TEU, up 2.1 percent from last year. Total volume for 2015 was 18.2 million TEU, up 5.4 percent from 2014. The first half of 2016 totaled 9 million TEU, up 1.6 percent from the same period in 2015. Although cargo volume does not correlate directly to sales, it remains a barometer of retailers’ expectations, NRF says.

After a long period of high inventory levels, Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett noted that the retail industry inventory-to-sales ratio stood at 1.49 in July, the latest number available from the U.S. Census Bureau. That was down from 1.5 in June and a peak of 1.52 in March.

Volume dipped in September to an estimated 1.64 million TEU but was still up 0.9 percent from last year.

Source: NRF