U.S Retail Imports Growing Despite of Tariffs
U.S retail imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to grow steadily throughout the summer despite the prospect of heavy tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. The first half of 2018 is expected to total 10.4 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU), an increase of 5.8 percent over the first half of 2017. The total for 2017 was 20.5 million TEU, up 7.6 percent from 2016’s previous record of 19.1 million TEU.
“With proposed tariffs yet to be officially imposed, retailers are stocking up on merchandise that could soon cost considerably more,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If tariffs do take effect, there’s no quick or easy way to switch where these products come from. American families will simply be stuck paying higher prices and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs could be lost.” “Despite the threats and risks to trade, we continue to see solid expansion and our models are projecting this to continue throughout the year,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “This is driven by a high level of confidence as the economy remains strong and unemployment is at its lowest level in nearly two decades.”
U.S retail imports in May is forecast at 1.82 million TEU, up 4.3 percent from last year; June also at 1.82 million TEU, up 6.1 percent; July at 1.9 million TEU, up 5.5 percent; August at 1.92 million TEU, up 4.6 percent, and September at 1.82 million TEU, up 2.1 percent. The numbers forecast for July and August would each set new records for the number of containers imported in a single month, beating the previous high of 1.83 million TEU in August 2017.