Thursday, January 10, 2019

Shipping: "...US Container Imports to Weaken in First Half of 2019"

From World Maritime News:

Imports at the major retail container ports in the US have slowed down after a months-long rush to beat increased tariffs on goods from China, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.
“With the holiday season behind us, the immediate pressure to stock up on merchandise has passed but retailers remain concerned about tariffs and their impact on the nation’s economy,” Jonathan Gold, NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy explained.

“Retailers have also brought in much of their spring merchandise early to protect consumers against higher prices that will eventually come with tariffs. Our industry is hoping the talks currently under way will bring an end to this ill-advised trade war and result in a more appropriate way of responding to China’s trade abuses that won’t force American consumers, workers and businesses to pay the price,” he added.

US ports covered by Global Port Tracker report handled 1.81 million TEU in November, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 2.5 percent year-over-year but down 11.4 percent from the record of 2.04 million TEU set in October.
December was estimated at 1.79 million TEU, a 3.7 percent year-over-year increase. That would bring 2018 to a total of 21.6 million TEU, an increase of 5.3 percent over 2017’s record 20.5 million TEU.

January is forecast at 1.75 million TEU, down 0.9 percent from January 2018, February at 1.67 million TEU, also down 0.9 percent year-over-year. In addition, March is forecast at 1.55 million TEU, up 0.6 percent, April at 1.69 million TEU, up 3.7 percent, and May at 1.8 million TEU, down 1.3 percent....MORE