Source: American Shipper
August 10th 2015
Although there are still some lingering congestion issues, retailers and logistics services providers are working together to ensure imports flow smoothly to store shelves.
Import cargo volumes at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to increase 3.6 percent in August, compared to the same month in 2014, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Holiday goods are starting to show up at the docks. Although there are still some lingering congestion issues, retailers and logistics services providers are working together to ensure imports flow smoothly to store shelves, National Retail Federation Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said in a statement.
The dozen ports covered by the Global Port Tracker handled 1.57 million TEUs in June, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. Volumes were up 6.2 percent from June 2014.
The Global Port Tracker estimates that the same ports handled 1.59 million TEUs in July, a year-over-year increase of 6 percent. August is forecast at 1.57 million TEUs, a year-over-year increase of 3.6 percent; September at 1.59 million TEUs, down 0.1 percent; October at 1.58 million TEUs, up 1.2 percent; November at 1.45 million TEUs, up 4.5 percent; and December at 1.4 million TEUs, down 2.8 percent.
The ports covered by the Global Port Tracker handled 8.9 million TEUs for the first half of the year, up 6.5 percent from the first half of 2014.
Retailers have been paying less money to ship their goods as a result of larger containerships. Some lines have been canceling voyages to counteract the trend, which could drive rates back up, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said in a statement.
“We are seeing complete chaos on the high seas in terms of the amount of capacity available and the level of spot freight rates,” Hackett said. “One has to wonder why carriers cannot match supply to demand. The end result will likely be a highly volatile situation of freight rates moving up and down.”