Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.64 million twenty-foot equivalent units in November, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 1.6 percent from October - since most imported holiday merchandise had already arrived - but up 11.2 percent from November 2015. Global Port Tracker had previously predicted a year-over-year increase of 3.6 percent. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.
December was estimated at 1.54 million TEU, up 7 percent year-over-year rather than the 3.2 percent that had been expected.
Cargo volume does not correlate directly to sales because only the number of containers is counted, not the value of the cargo inside, but nonetheless provides a barometer of retailers’ expectations, NRF says. The group’s annual forecast called for $655.8bn in 2016 holiday sales during November and December, a 3.6 percent increase over 2015. November sales were up 5 percent year-over-year.
Cargo volume for 2016 is now estimated at 18.8 million TEU, up 2.9 percent from 2015 rather than the 2 percent previously expected. Total volume for 2015 was 18.2 million TEU, up 5.4 percent from 2014.
January is forecast at 1.57 million TEU, up 5.7 percent from January 2016; February at 1.52 million TEU, down 1.5 percent from last year; March at 1.41 million TEU, up 6.5 percent from last year; April at 1.55 million TEU, up 7.3 percent, and May at 1.61 million TEU, down 0.5 percent.
Source: National Retail Federation
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