Retail Container Volume Expected to End Two Years of Declines
The report now expects 2009 to end with a total volume of 12.6 million TEU, a drop of 17 percent from last year's 15.2 million TEU and the lowest since the 12.47 million TEU imported in 2003.
"The second half of 2009 has seen an improvement with 'less bad' year-over-year numbers compared with the first half," IHS Global Insight Economist Paul Bingham said. "While improving, import container traffic is projected to be weak through March due to the traditional slow season combined with the weak pace of economic recovery."
All U.S. ports covered by Port Tracker — Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast — are rated "low" for congestion, the same as last month.
Port Tracker, which is produced by the economic research, forecasting and analysis firm IHS Global Insight for NRF, looks at inbound container volume, the availability of trucks and railroad cars to move cargo out of the ports, labor conditions and other factors that affect cargo movement and congestion. The report is free to NRF retail members. Subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971.
The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2008 sales of $4.6 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represens more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com.