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September's volume of 1.62 million import containers at the nation's biggest import gateways was up 2.2 percent from last year and October’s 1.56 million containers was essentially flat, down 0.1 percent from the same period in 2014, according to the Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Volumes in September and October, which usually encompass what retailers call the peak season for import shipments, were both down from August, an early peak during which many ports handled uncommonly high import volumes. Several big retailers reported in the wake of the strong shipping summer that they had overstocked and would try to pare back inventories in the fall.
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