More merchandise than ever is expected to arrive from offshore sources throughout the year, according to Paul Bingham, Economist for Global Insight. “Overall trade growth is expected to be positive but slower compared with the monthly rates we saw in the first half of 2006,” he says. “Nonetheless, each month is still expected to see a new record volume for that month.”
Global Insight produces Port Tracker for the National Retail Federation. It examines inbound container volume, availability of trucks and railroad cars to move freight from the ports, labor conditions and other factors affecting movement of cargo and congestion. Eastern ports covered are New York/New Jersey, Hampton roads, Charleston and Savannah. Ports included in the West are Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle.
As the winter slow season ends in late February, retail container traffic is predicted to grow year over year between 4.6 and 7.6% for the March through May spring shipping season. The same period last year experienced growth from 7 to 17.9%.