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Global Port Tracker: Peak season should get off to good start in August


Imports at the nation’s largest container ports should hit yet another volume record in August as consumer demand continues to stretch supply chains and retailers shift from the back-to-school to peak shipping season, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

“Strong consumer demand has outpaced supply chain operations since late last year and could remain a challenge as the holidays approach,” said NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold in a press release.

Transit delays are stretching to landside movements as port terminals struggle with space shortages, and labor challenges are affecting ports, railroads and trucking companies, according to Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett.

U.S. ports covered by the monthly Global Port Tracker report are projected to handle 2.37 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in August, topping May’s 2.33 million TEUs for the largest number of containers imported during a single month since NRF began tracking imports in 2002.

The August total also would represent a 12.6 percent year-over-year volume gain. August is the beginning of the peak season, when retailers begin stocking up on holiday merchandise.

Global Port Tracker forecasts September container volume at 2.21 million TEUs, which would constitute a 4.9 percent year-over-year gain. Volume is pegged at 2.15 million TEUs in October, 2.07 million TEUs in November and 2.02 million TEUs in December.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/12/2021