Imports at the nation’s largest retail container ports continue to experience double-digit growth over last year as strong consumer demand keeps up its momentum, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“The year-over-year growth we saw this spring was off the charts because the comparisons were against a time when most stores were shut down due to the pandemic,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold says. “But, we’re continuing to see strong growth even as we enter a point when stores had begun to re-open last year. That’s a sign of the tremendous demand from consumers. The challenge for retailers and supply chains is keeping shelves stocked as port congestion and other supply chain disruptions continue to impact the industry and the economy more broadly.”
“Operational constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the surge in consumer demand have severely strained the logistics supply chain,” Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett says. “The level of growth in the last year has put unprecedented pressure on importers, carriers and domestic transportation providers alike.”
- U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.33 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in May, up 8.6% from April and up 52.2% from a year earlier.
- July is forecast at 2.21 million TEU, up 15.1% year-over-year; August at 2.3 million TEU, up 9.4%; September at 2.16 million TEU, up 2.5%; October at 2.13 million TEU, down 3.7% for the first year-over-year decline since July 2020; and November at 2.06 million TEU, down 2%.