Monday, January 12, 2009
In another sign of the economic times, year-over-year cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports fell for the 17th straight month in Dec. 2008, completing the slowest year since 2004, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released last week by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.
Volume for the year was estimated at 15.3 million Twenty-Foot-Equivalent Units (TEU), as compared with 16.5 million TEU in 2007. This would represent a decline of 7.1 percent and the lowest total since 2004, when 14 million TEU moved through the ports. One TEU is one 20-foot container or its equivalent.
"2008 was a slow year for the ports for the simple reason that it was a slow year for retail sales," said NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold. "We don't expect a significant increase in traffic at the ports until retail sales return to normal levels, and even then retailers will be careful not to over-stock."
IHS Global Insight is forecasting that Jan. 2009 will be down 6.3 percent from Jan. 2008, and February of this year, down 11.1 percent from 2008 figures. While March is expected to be up 1.1 percent from Mar. 2008, April is expected to decline 2.6 percent from 2008.
Port Tracker is free to NRF retail members. Subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling 202-783-7971. Non-NRF members can call 202- 481-9265.
Posted by radu_addmall at 3:44 AM
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