Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Shippers


Rail News: Shippers

Retailers: Import growth to remain high in 2022's first half

Jonathan Gold
Photo – NRF


Retail import volumes are expected to remain high at U.S. ports during the first half of 2022 despite a slowdown in cargo, according to a report from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Ports will not see the “dramatic growth” from this time a year ago, but volumes are staying steady, indicating strong consumer demand, said NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold.

“Last year set a new bar for imports, and the numbers remain high as consumers continue to spend despite COVID-19 and inflation,” Gold said in a press release. “The slowdown in cargo growth will be welcome as the supply chain continues to try to adapt to these elevated volumes.”

Despite the slowdown, supply chain disruptions will continue for “a variety of reasons,” Gold added. The Port of Los Angeles alone had 40 ships waiting to dock as of Feb. 9, said Ben Hackett, founder of international trade consulting firm Hackett Associates, which produces the Global Port Tracker report with the NRF. Some cargo will not be unloaded until a month or more after arrival. While the Lunar New Year is quickly approaching, meaning the temporary closings of many Asian manufacturing plants, the disruptions can’t be quickly solved.

“Backups cannot be erased quickly as long as terminals continue to face a lack of space brought on by the supply chain’s inability to efficiently transfer cargo out of the terminals to its end destinations,” Hackett said.

U.S. ports covered by the Global Port Tracker are projected to handle a total 13 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the first half of 2022, up 1.5% over the TEUs handled during the same period in 2021. Ports handled 2.09 million TEUs in December 2021, down 1.2% from November 2021 and down 1% year over year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/14/2022