Imports Continue to Lag

Imports at major U.S. ports continue to show signs of slowing the National Retail Federation said this week.

Typically, imports peak in the fall as retailers gear up for the Christmas holiday shopping season.

Instead, this year Imports peaked last spring and continue to lag the record levels posted earlier this year.

NRF vice president Jonathan Gold said retailers stocked up earlier this year due to concerns about port congestion, rail and port labor negotiations, and other supply-chain issues.

“With a rail strike possible this month, there are still challenges in the supply chain, but the majority of holiday merchandise is already on hand and retailers are well prepared to meet demand,” he said

The trade group expects demand to continue to flatten through early next year.

The 13 U.S. ports monitored by NRF registered a record 2.4 million 20-foot equivalent units in May, but volume has mostly declined since then.

In October import volume was unofficially 2.02 million TEUs, which would be 8.5 percent lower than October 2021’s total.

November projections are 1.92 million TEUs, down 9.2 percent year over year with December volume projected at 1.9 million TEUs, down 9 percent.

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