US Retailers Expect Hike in Container Volumes

Retailers Expect US Container Volumes to Hike

Containerized cargo volumes at the U.S. ports are expected to rise year-on-year during most of the first half of 2015 despite significant congestion still impacting West Coast ports, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the U.S. National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.39 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in November, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 10.7 percent from October as holiday merchandise wound down but up 3.5 percent from November 2013. December was estimated at 1.35 million TEU, up 2.7 percent from the year before.

Those numbers brought 2014 to a preliminary total of 17.2 million TEU, an increase of 6 percent over 2013’s 16.2 million. Imports in 2012 totaled 15.8 million.

January is forecast at 1.39 million TEU, up 1.1 percent from January 2014, February at 1.3 million TEU, up 4.8 percent from last year; March also at 1.3 million TEU, down 0.5 percent; April at 1.43 million TEU, the same as last year; and May at 1.49 million TEU, up 0.6 percent.

”2014 started out with a whimper as winter weather hammered the country but it appears to have ended with a bang,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. ”Import volumes on the West Coast, despite all the problems there, were the highest since 2009. A similar picture exists on the East Coast, which had even healthier results.”

Image: Port of Long Beach

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