Imports Expected to Remain High for Rest of Year

The National Retail Federation reported this week that congestion continues at the nation’s ports as imports continue tat high levels.

It said more than 70 ships were waiting to dock at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach in California and that imposts are expected to remain at near-record levels for the remainder of the year as retailers seek to stock shelves for the Christmas holiday shopping season.

The trade association said retail volume this year is expected to rise 10.5 percent compared with 2020 figures.

The average wait during the past two months for ships to dock at the Port of Los Angeles has been two weeks. That has created a cascading effect of delaying the arrival of ships at other ports.

Some shipping lines have diverted vessels to other ports, but the NRF report said congestion is building nationwide.

NRF projects that October will prove to be one of the busiest months on record for imports with volume reaching 2.19 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), although that would be down 1.22 percent from October 2020..

However, NRF officials said 2021 retail numbers are much higher than 2020 due to continued economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first half of 2021 totaled 12.8 million TEUs, up over 35 percent over 2020 levels with the current year expected to surpass the 2020 mark of 22 million TEUs.

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