Imports Heading for Record Levels

The National Retail Federal said this week that it expects 2021 imports to set records for largest volume and fastest growth on record.

The trade group said retail imports for 2021 are expected to total 26 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 18.3 percent over last year and the highest number since NRF began tracking imports in 2002.

If those projections hold up, they would surpass last year’s record of 22 million, a 1.9 percent increase.

In a news release, NRF said the highest growth was 16.7 percent in 2010, when the economy was recovering from the Great Recession of 2008.

NRF officials said that despite double-digit growth of imports, single-month year-over-year growth has remained in the single digits and is expected to stay that way through the first quarter of 2022.

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