Import Volume Appears to be Stabilizing

Import volume at U.S. ports appears to be stabilizing.

The National Retail Federal in conjunction with consulting firm Hackett Associates said week that volume at ports handling retail good is to its usual seasonal patterns during the first few months of 2020.

The trade group said it would be more confident of that prediction if the U.S. is able to consummate a reported partial trade agreement with China.

That pending pact led the Trump administration to lower tariffs on imported goods from China that were imposed in September 2019. The administration also canceled tariffs that had been set to go in effect last December.

U.S. ports covered by the Global Port Tracker handled 1.67 million 20-foot equivalent units in November 2019, the latest month for which figures are available.

In a news release NRF officials said that was a drop of 11.2 percent from October 2019 and down 7.5 percent year-over-year.

Preliminary figures for 2019 indicate that the year came in at 21.6 million TEUs, down 0.9 percent from 2018 but still the second-highest year on record

Imports in 2018 hit a record 21.8 million TEUs, partly due to business increasing their imports ahead of anticipated 2019 tariffs.

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