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US Containerised imports expected to rise 3.6pc in August

CONTAINERISED imports through major US ports are expected to increase 3.6 per cent year on year this August as retailers bring in merchandise for the holiday season, according to the today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. 

US Containerised imports expected to rise 3.6pc in August
09 August 2015 - 21:23

US Containerised imports expected to rise 3.6pc in August - Port Tracker

CONTAINERISED imports through major US ports are expected to increase 3.6 per cent year on year this August as retailers bring in merchandise for the holiday season, according to the today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. 

Imports for the year are expected to be up 4.2 per cent over 2014.

"Consumers might be out buying back-to-school supplies but toys and sweaters are starting to show up on the docks," said NRF vice president Jonathan Gold said. "There are still some lingering congestion issues, but retailers are working with their supply chain partners to make sure all of that merchandise flows smoothly to store shelves."

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.57 million TEU in June, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 2.5 per cent from an unusually busy May but up 6.2 per cent from June 2014.

July was estimated at 1.59 million TEU, up six per cent from 2014. August is forecast at 1.57 million TEU, up 3.6 per cent; September at 1.59 million TEU, down 0.1 per cent; October at 1.58 million TEU, up 1.2 per cent; November at 1.45 million TEU, up 4.5 per cent, and December at 1.4 million TEU, down 2.8 per cent.

Those numbers would bring 2015 to a total of 18 million TEU, up 4.2 per cent from last year. The first half of 2015 totalled 8.9 million TEU, up 6.5 per cent over the same period last year.

Some retailers are paying less to transport their merchandise this year, thanks to the use of more large-capacity ships by ocean carriers. 

Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said the increased capacity has driven down rates, but the relief could be short-lived because some lines have already cancelled voyages to counteract the trend.

"We are seeing complete chaos on the high seas in terms of the amount of capacity available and the level of spot freight rates," Mr Hackett said. "One has to wonder why carriers cannot match supply to demand. The end result will likely be a highly volatile situation of freight rates moving up and down."

Global Port Tracker covers Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle/Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami and Houston. 

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