US toy sales up 16.7pc to US$32.6 billion, outpacing capacity

THE Toy Association, of New York, has reported that total US toy sales dollar volume grew 16

10 June 2021 - 19:00
THE Toy Association, of New York, has reported that total US toy sales dollar volume grew 16.7 per cent to US$32.6 billion in 2020, causing import demand to outpace shipping capacity, reports IHS Media.

Containerised US toy imports rose 3.5 per cent year over year to 1.1 million TEU in 2020. The growth was led by outdoor and sporting equipment, which rose 35.1 per cent and 78.3 per cent.

Sector experts declared sales growth in 2021 would be strong, but not as robust as 2020. The global toy market is projected to grow at 1.4 per cent compound annual growth rate until 2025.

But the toy sector's growth is clouded by the impacts of port congestion on transit times through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Still, despite tariffs and congestion issues, the Southern California gateway handled 47.4 per cent of all toy imports in 2020, up 45.6 per cent in 2019.

'That makes it very difficult for the smaller importers to use alternate ports. Larger importers have looked at switching to US east coast discharge whenever possible to secure additional space and avoid delays,' said Toy Shippers Association's managing director Jeff Bergman.

Mr Bergman expects all container lines will charge a premium through the summer and fall to get containers loaded because of the backlog.

'This does not work for most importers, especially toy importers. The weekly allocation will be the biggest challenge to overcome,' said Mr Bergman.

Mr Bergman also commented that freight rates agreed to in the annual transpacific agreement have increased significantly from last year's contracts.

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