October, with holiday season merchandise being rushed to market, is usually the peak month for container shipping. But the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates say July is likely the peak this year.
Releasing their monthly Global Port Tracker report, NRF and Hackett said large double-digit increases in June and July appear to be the result of backlogs built up due to the lack of shipping capacity earlier in the year, after ship owners took vessels out of service during the recession and were slow to return them as the economy began to pick up.
"There are indications that the shipping season may have peaked earlier than normal as the rush to restock inventories earlier in the year intersects with a combination of increased shipping capacity, consumer confidence levels not seen since August 2009 and the slowing growth of consumer spending," says Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. "The traditional peak season may be melting away."
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