Containerized imports are slowing at the 10 major U.S. retail ports following their peak in August but are expected to be up 9 percent in November over the still-recession-bound month of November 2009, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
"The cargo numbers show that retailers are expecting a much better holiday season than they have seen over the past two years, but the industry is still being cautious," said Jonathan Gold, the NRF's vice president for supply chain and customs policy. "Retailers know shoppers still have the economy in mind, so they are being very mindful with inventory levels this year."
U.S. ports handled 1.34 million 20-foot equivalent units in September, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was down 6 percent from the August peak but up 17 percent from September 2009. It was the 10th month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines.
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