American retailers’ import volumes up 0.2 percent in August

The United States’ National Retail Federation’s (NRF) announced that U.S. ports covered by the NRF’s Global Port Tracker handled 1.97 million TEUs in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 0.2 percent from July and up 3.9 percent year-over-year.

Numbers dipped in September as new tariffs took effect, coming in at an estimated 1.9 million TEU, up 1.6 percent year-over-year. October is forecast at 1.93 million, down 5.1 percent from last year’s record volume. November is forecast at 1.97 million TEU, which would be up 8.9 percent year-over-year and tie August as the second-highest number of containers in a single month.

The NRF expects imports will fall to 1.78 million TEU in December, down 9.3 percent year-over-year. The expected drop from November will come as December’s tariffs take effect, but the month historically sees a falloff in imports because most holiday merchandise has already arrived by that point.

The first half of 2019 totaled 10.5 million TEU, up 2.1 percent over the first half of 2018, and 2019 is expected to see a new record of 22 million TEU. That would be up 1.2 percent from last year’s previous record of 21.8 million TEU.

Source: NRF

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