Report: Retail container traffic nearly flat through July

Washington, D.C. -- A report released Thursday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to remain at about the same levels as last year through July before starting to resume increases later this summer.

“With rising gas prices and challenges in the labor and housing markets, consumer spending has slowed and retailers have adjusted their inventory levels accordingly,” NRF VP for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We are confident long-term consumer demand will grow, and that imports will pick up significantly in the fall.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.22 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in April, the latest month for which numbers are available. That was up 12% from March and 7% from April 2010. It was the 17th month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines.

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