The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Maritime Consultancy Hackett Associates has released its Port Tracker report about the expected import cargo volumes for 2016. Based on the report, the import cargo volume is expected to increase for the first half of this year. According to an article posted on Logistics Mgmt (dot) com, the report doesn t show any direct correlation between the cargo import numbers and retail sales or employment. It was further explained that only the number of cargo containers were counted but not the value of the merchandise brought inside these containers. In a statement provided by Jonathan Gold, NRF Vice President for Supply Chain & Customs Policy, retailers have to carefully manage their inventories but need to stock up on seasonal goods as it is expected that consumers spending will continue to increase this year.
Below are import volume estimates for the first half of 2016:
- January 1.46 million TEU, for an 18.3% annual gain
- February 1.39 million TEU, for a 16.2% annual increase
- March 1.35 million TEU, expected to be off 22.4%
- April 1.49 million TEU, down by 1.2%
- May 1.57 million TEU, for a 2.6% decrease
- June 1.55 million TEU, for a 1.2% decrease
Despite the growth in import volumes for the first two months, the global economy could be headed for a recession if nothing is done to prevent it. As cited by Ben Hackett, the numbers could be affected by the slowing factory output in China, lack of real economic growth in the Eurozone, declining global commodity prices for crude oil and other commodities, and the minimal growth of GDP and U.S. retail sales.
With this projection on import cargo volumes, where should retailers focus their efforts?
The original article can be found here: