Port Tracker says import records could be broken in the summer months
New records are expected to be hit in three of the following months-with July at 1.88 million TEU for a 4.1% annual gain; August at 1.91 million TEU for a 4% increase; and September at 1.83 million TEU for 2.3% improvement-each expected to top the previous record of August 2017’s 1.83 million TEU for a single month.
Logistics in the NewsPort of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach each set volume records in October Cass Freight Index points to ongoing strength in freight economy Truckload and intermodal rates see strong gains in October, according to Cass and Broughton report Emerge receives $20 million in seed money from Greycroft Partners UPS announces expansion plans for its UPS Worldwide Express service More Logistics News
Logistics ResourceNew White Paper focuses on the ABC’s of Anti-Dumping/Countervailing Duties While the U.S. government has always prioritized protection of U.S. companies against imports that are sold at below market prices, or unfairly subsidized, the Trump administration clearly intends to raise the bar with regard to trade policy enforcement.
Records for United States-bound retail container shipments could be broken this summer, according to the most recent edition of the report issued by the and maritime consultancy Hackett Associates.
The ports surveyed in the report include Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, Houston, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, and Savannah, Miami, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Port Everglades. Authors of the report explained that cargo import numbers do not correlate directly with retail sales or employment because they count only the number of cargo containers brought into the country, not the value of the merchandise inside them, adding that the amount of merchandise imported provides a rough barometer of retailers’ expectations.
“Consumers are buying more and that means retailers are importing more,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy said in a statement. “Imports continue to be the primary source of high-quality, mass-produced necessities at affordable prices and will be for the foreseeable future. If tariffs are imposed on consumer goods, that will only drive up prices for American families while doing little or nothing to punish those responsible for unfair trade practices.”
For April, the most recent month for which data is available, U.S.-based retail container ports came in at 1.63 million TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), which was 5.8% below March and up 0.3% annually. May was pegged to hit 1.77 million TEU for a 1.3% annual gain, and June is estimated at 1.78 million TEU for a 3.7% increase.
After that, new records are expected to be hit in three of the following months-with July at 1.88 million TEU for a 4.1% annual gain; August at 1.91 million TEU for a 4% increase; and September at 1.83 million TEU for 2.3% improvement-each expected to top the previous record of August 2017’s 1.83 million TEU for a single month. September is expected to be up 2.3% at 1.83 million TEU, which would match August 2017.
Port Tracker added that the first half of 2018 is estimated to be up 3.8% annually at 10.2 million TEU.
“Despite an environment where the U.S. administration is enacting measures that could well lead to a trade war with most of its Asian and European trading partners, we see import growth year-on-year through the first four months of 2018 at most of the tracked ports,” wrote Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett in the report. “There are nevertheless growing signs of concern as revised second-quarter gross domestic product data shows less growth than anticipated. The Purchasing Managers Index for US manufacturers remained buoyant in April with output and new orders up sharply in response to solid consumer demand. This suggests that neither industry nor consumers really believe that President Trump will push through with his proposed ‘national security’ tariffs. Let’s hope that they are right.”
In a recent interview with LM, Hackett explained that he believes that a fair amount of import growth may be due to stockbuilding in case of tariffs as a number of economic indicators are suggesting a slowdown.
"The key risk these days is the anti-Iran agreement policy and the continued effort by the Trump Administration to withdraw from the global stage," he said. "Pax Americana appears to be waning as a result."
About the AuthorJeff Berman, Group News Editor Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman
Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Land O’Lakes lock in Texas-based capacity How will the tariff war with China affect U.S. container ports? View More From this Issue