• Retail Container Traffic Forecasted To Grow 25 Percent in First Half of 2010

Retail Container Traffic Forecasted To Grow 25 Percent in First Half of 2010

Wednesday June 23, 2010

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports will be a full 25 percent higher during the first half of 2010 compared with the same period a year ago, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

U.S. ports handled 1.09 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in December, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was unchanged from November but up 2.6 percent from December 2008 to break a 28-month streak during which monthly totals were lower than the same month the year before. One TEUs is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

January was estimated at 1.19 million TEUs, a 17 percent increase over January 2009, and February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, is forecast at 1.1 million TEU, up 30 percent from the previous year. March is forecast at 1.18 million TEUs, up 23 percent as retailers begin to stock up for spring and summer, April at 1.25 million TEUs, up 27 percent, May at 1.3 million TEU, up 26 percent, and June at 1.38 million TEU, up 36 percent.

Those monthly numbers would put the first half of 2010 at 7.4 million TEUs, up 25 percent from last year’s 5.9 million TEUs.

With numbers from December now final, 2009 ended with a total volume of 12.7 million TEU, down 17 percent from 2008’s 15.2 million TEUs and the lowest since the 12.5 million TEUs reported in 2003.

Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett disagreed with economists who fear that the economy is in the middle of a W-shaped recovery where another dip could follow current signs of an upturn.

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