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US retailers stocking up ahead of possible tariffs: NRF

15
Jul '19
Pic: Shutter Stock
Pic: Shutter Stock
Imports at the major US retail container ports will remain at high levels this summer but are expected to grow only modestly compared to last year’s rush to bring merchandise into the country ahead of scheduled tariff increases, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released recently by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers still want to protect their customers against potential price increases that would come with any additional tariffs, but with the latest proposed tariffs on hold for now and warehouses bulging, there’s only so much they can do,” NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said.

“We will still see some near-record numbers this summer, but right now no one knows whether there will be additional tariffs or not. We hope the restarted negotiations with China will result in significant reforms rather than more tariffs that tax American companies and consumers,” he said.

“Imports of consumer goods continue to grow as importers purchase items in expectation of further increases in tariffs, the cost of which will be borne by the American consumer,” Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said.

US ports covered by tracker handled 1.85 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in May. That was up 6 per cent from April and up 1.4 per cent year-on-year. A TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

June was estimated at 1.87 million TEU, up only 0.8 per cent year-on-year. July is forecast at 1.93 million TEU, up 1.3 per cent; August at 1.96 million TEU, up 3.4 per cent; September at 1.89 million, up 1.1 per cent; October at 1.94 million TEU, down 4.5 per cent, and November at 1.88 million TEU, up 4.3 per cent, an NRF press release said citing the tracker.

Imports during 2018 set a record of 21.8 million TEU, an increase of 6.2 per cent over 2017’s previous record of 20.5 million TEU. The first half of 2019 totalled an estimated 10.6 million TEU, up 2.8 per cent over the first half of 2018.

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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