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Import container volume at major U.S. ports for retail cargoes is expected to be up 16 percent in September over the same month last year, but 2010 has already hit its peak and numbers will decline through the remainder of the year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released on Sept. 7 by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.
"Retailers have stocked up early on much of their holiday merchandise in order to avoid some of the supply chain disruptions seen earlier in the year," said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. "Cargo is still coming in, but the key question for sales will be what happens with employment and other factors that affect consumer confidence this fall. Retailers are hoping they've hit the right balance of supply and demand."
U.S. ports handled 1.38 million TEUs in July, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was up 5 percent from June and 25 percent from July 2009. It was the eighth month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement, after a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines ended in December 2009.
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