Oct 9 Import cargo volume at major U.S.
container ports is expected to rise 9.9 percent in October from
the year-ago period as retailers stock up for the all-important
holiday season, a report showed on Tuesday.
U.S. ports are expected to handle 1.45 million 20-foot
Equivalent Units (TEU) in October, up 9.9 percent from the
year-earlier period, according to the monthly Global Port
Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett
One TEU represents one 20-foot cargo container or its
"Increased imports show that retailers have gauged the
market and expect increased sales," said Jonathan Gold, vice
president for supply chain and customs policy at the National
Last week, the trade group said it expected holiday sales to
rise 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion this year.
August, September and October are the three busiest months
of the year as retailers bring goods into the United States for
the biggest selling season of the year.
U.S. ports handled 1.42 million TEU in August, the latest
month for which numbers are available. That was up 6.7 percent
from July and 3.3 percent from August 2011. Ports are expected
to handle 1.49 million TEU in September, up 8 percent from last
Some retailers brought cargo into the country early this
year because of the threat of a strike when the labor contract
covering East Coast and Gulf Coast longshoremen was set to
expire Sept. 30, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said.
The strike was averted when labor and management agreed to
continue talks through Dec. 31.
The Global Port Tracker covers the U.S. ports of Long
Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West
Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah,
Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast; and Houston on the