American retailers’ import volumes dropped in November

The United States’ National Retail Federation’s (NRF) announced that U.S. ports covered by the NRF’s Global Port Tracker handled 1.67 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in November, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available.

That was down 11.2 percent from October and down 7.5 year-over-year. With on-again, off-again progress on trade negotiations reported throughout the fall and other factors affecting shipping, an expected surge ahead of the canceled December tariff increase did not materialize. TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

December was estimated at 1.7 million TEU, down 13.4 percent from unusually high numbers seen in December 2018, when retailers had frontloaded imports ahead of a scheduled January 1, 2019, tariff increase that was ultimately postponed.

January is forecast at 1.8 million TEU, down 5 percent from January 2019.

Source: NRF

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