Imports at retail container ports hit a new record this spring and volume during the first half of 2021 is expected to be a third higher than last year as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“Despite the continuing pandemic, most consumers are in good financial health and aren’t hesitating to spend,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “More spending translates into more merchandise arriving at our ports as retailers continue to meet increasing demand. The cargo surge that began last fall doesn’t show any sign of stopping. Unfortunately, disruption and congestion issues are also continuing.”
U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.27 million TEU in March, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was up 21.2 percent from February and set a new record for the number of containers seen during a single month since NRF began tracking imports in 2002. The previous record was 2.21 million TEU set last October. A TEU is one 20-foot container or its equivalent.