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Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.85 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in June, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 1.6 per cent from May and up 7.8 per cent year-over-year. A TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent. The June number set a new record for the number of containers imported during a single month, beating the previous record of 1.83 million TEU set in August 2017. The July estimate – which is subject to revision when the numbers become final – appeared to take the record higher and August should set yet another record, the report said.
Cargo handled by ports in July was estimated at 1.88 million TEU, up 4.4 per cent year-over-year. August is forecast at 1.91 million TEU, up 4.4 per cent; September at 1.82 million TEU, up 2.1 per cent; October at 1.88 million, up 4.9 per cent; November at 1.81 million TEU, up 2.6 per cent, and December at 1.79 million TEU, up 4 per cent.
“Tariffs on most consumer products have yet to take effect but retailers appear to be getting prepared before that can happen,” National Retail Federation vice president for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We’re seeing new record levels every month this summer. Much of that is to meet consumer demand as tax reform and a thriving economy drive retail sales, but part of it seems to be concern over what’s to come. The good news for consumers is that avoiding tariffs holds off price increases that will inevitably come if the reckless and misguided trade war is allowed to continue.”
“Global Port Tracker has only marginally downgraded imports for 2018 but we expect to see a larger downturn going into 2019 resulting from the trade war as well as an anticipated slowing of the economy,” Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. “The volatility and non-fact-based decisions coming from Washington have created uncertainty.” (RKS)
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