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Import cargo volume at the busiest U.S. container ports is beginning to ramp up after a flat summer, the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said in their monthly Global Port Tracker report.
The 10 ports the report tracks handled 1.32 million 20-foot-equivalent units in July, up 6 percent from June but down 4 percent from July 2010. August was expected to be flat with last year at an estimated 1.42 million TEUs.
The report said year-over-year comparisons were skewed by higher-than-normal shipments in the summer of 2010, when fears of tight shipping capacity caused many retailers to accelerate imports of holiday merchandise.
"This year, retailers have the luxury of importing holiday goods later than last year, which better ensures their inventory levels will accurately meet consumer demand," said Jonathan Gold, the retail federation's vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
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