Imports through major U.S. ports surged in November as retailers resumed bringing goods into the country after slowing their restocking earlier in the fall, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Seaports including Savannah, Ga., and Seattle-Tacoma, Wash., reported strong growth in container imports in November and the neighboring California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach rebounded after business had eased back following an early peak shipping season.
Los Angeles and Long Beach, together the country’s largest gateway for goods moving by ocean, handled a combined 665,077 loaded container imports, counted as 20-foot-equivalent container units, a standard industry measure.
The port figures suggest that major retailers are starting to replenish distribution centers and store shelves after paring back stocks this fall as unsold inventories piled up.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that U.S. gross domestic product grew slightly slower than estimated in the third quarter, which economists attributed to companies drawing down inventories during July, August and September.
That pattern was evident at the nation’s seaports, where import volumes barely grew from month to month during the traditional early-fall peak shipping season after sharp swings earlier in the year. The sporadic performance this year can was in part the result of congestion and delays at the West Coast ports late last year and in early 2015 amid contentious contract talks between the coast-wide dockworkers union and port terminal operators.
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