With unemployment during the past year at its highest levels since the early 1980s, and the economy sputtering through late summer, the outlook for holiday retail sales this year was cloudy around Labor Day.
Logistics companies said shipments by retailers have been fairly strong this year, but there was uncertainty about whether that strength would last into the fall. Some logistics companies also believe the traditional "peak season" for container shipping is becoming elongated.
"Instead of a two-month-long spike where airfreight goes through the roof and ocean freight congestion and containers being 'slotted-out' from ships is a big problem, I think we are going to have a longer period that is less critical," said Patrick Ahern, vice president of international at National Retail Systems, a logistics company that caters to retailers.
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