Import cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports is expected to total 12.3 million containers for 2009, a drop of 18.8 percent since last year and the lowest level in seven years, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released Aug. 20 by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.
The 12.3million 20-foot equivalent units forecast for 2009 compares with 15.2million TEUs last year and is the lowest level since the 11.6 million TEUs seen in 2002.
"This year's peak season is beginning with very weak import container volume, and even though traffic is slowly building, that's going to be the case through the remainder of the year," says IHS Global Insight economist Paul Bingham.
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