August 10, 2020
Imports at major U.S. retail container ports during 2020 are expected to drop to their lowest total in four years as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy continues. The latest monthly Global Port Tracker report released on Monday by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates detailed the sobering forecast.
NRF’s Jonathan Gold says, “The economy is recovering but retailers are being careful not to import more than they can sell. Shelves will be stocked, but this is not the year to be left with warehouses full of unsold merchandise. The more Congress does to put spending money in consumers’ pockets and provide businesses with liquidity, the sooner we can get back to normal.”
U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.61 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in June, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 4.9% from May but down 10.5% year-over-year. Projected out, the numbers would bring 2020 to a total of 19.6 million TEU, a drop of 9.4% from last year and the lowest annual total since 19.1 million TEU in 2016. The first half of 2020 totaled 9.5 million TEU, down 10.1% from last year.
The report covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle/Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Port of Virginia, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami Jacksonville, and Houston.
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