Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“Despite some lingering labor issues, the volume of cargo and the rate of growth have both largely settled down,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold
said. “There are still congestion issues to be dealt with but we’re
hoping to see reasonably normal back-to-school and holiday seasons this
year now that the tensions of contract negotiations are behind us.”
The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union both voted in May to ratify
a new five-year contract agreed to in February. The lack of a contract
and operational issues led to crisis-level congestion at West Coast
ports after the previous agreement expired last July.
Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.52 million Twenty-Foot
Equivalent Units in April, the latest month for which after-the-fact
numbers are available. That was down 12.4 percent from March, when
numbers were driven up by a surge of backlogged cargo after the labor
dispute ended, but up 6.1 percent from April 2014. One TEU is one
20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.
May was estimated at 1.56 million TEU, up 5 percent from 2014. June
is forecast at 1.52 million TEU, up 2.6 percent; July at 1.57 million
TEU, up 4.9 percent; August also at 1.57 million TEU, up 3.3 percent;
September at 1.6 million TEU, up 0.6 percent, and October at 1.59
million TEU, up 1.8 percent.
The first half of 2015 is forecast at 8.8 million TEU, an increase of 5.4 percent over the same period last year.
Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said a “stubbornly high”
inventory-to-sales ratio after last year’s rush to bring in adequate
stocks of merchandise will couple with other economic factors to affect
cargo volumes through the summer.
“The West Coast recovery remains sluggish and the East Coast is not
managing to hold on to the growth levels it has experienced over the
past few months,” Hackett said. “June is going to be a mixed month for
the West Coast with volatility between the ports, but July and August
are projected to see growth across the board. On the East Coast, we are
projecting growth for most ports.”
Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett
Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los 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 Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail
members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.
About NRF :
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing
discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main
Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail
campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers,
how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail
plays in driving innovation. NRF.com
About Hackett Associates :
Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory
services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and
international institutions. www.hackettassociates.com
Source NRF ©