The volume of containerized imports at major U.S. ports serving the retail industry is expected to be up 9 percent in April over the same month in 2010, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.1 million TEUs in February, traditionally the slowest month of the year and the latest for which actual numbers are available. That was down 8 percent from January but still up 10 percent from February 2010. It was the 15th month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines.
"These numbers are an indication that the economy is recovering and retailers are expecting continued increases in sales through the summer and beyond," NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. "There are challenges ahead from rising prices for gasoline and other essentials, but inventories are under control and retailers are optimistic."
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