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United States Container Imports Up During First Half Of 2012

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 2/20/2012

Import tracker shows a trend of rising imports at the nation's retail container ports, despite a slight drop in February.

In another sign that economic recovery is underway for U.S. businesses, the volume of imported cargo at the nation's major retail container ports is expected to show year-over-year increases through the first six months of 2012 -- despite an anticipated drop during the month of February.

United States Container Imports

According to the monthly Global Port Tracker, a report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, it's anticipated that imported cargo will be down 6.8% in February (compared to the same period in 2011) before reversing course for the remainder of the first two quarters.

"With consumer confidence building, retailers are optimistic that the economy is recovering but are continuing to be cautious with their inventory levels," NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. "Merchants want to be sure that growth will be sustained and that demand will be there to meet supply."

In December 2011, the most recent month for which accurate data is available, the U.S. ports included in the Global Port Tracker brought in 1.17 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU), bringing the total for 2011 to 14.8 million TEU, up slightly from the 2010 figure of 14.75 million TEU.

"Current statistics suggest that the economy will continue to improve as we continue into 2012," Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. "The question is will wholesalers and retailers be able to manage their inventories as well as they did in 2011? Most likely, yes."

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