NRF: Retail Imports Experience Increase in 2017


A new report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) indicates that imports at the United States’ major retail container port experienced a 7-percent boost in 2017 year-over-year (YOY). Developed in collaboration with Hackett Associates, the NRF’s Global Port Tracker report indicated that ports covered handled 1.74 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in November 2017. Though reflective of a 1.7-percent decrease from the previous month, the numbers show a nearly 6-percent YOY increase.

“Retailers imported more merchandise than ever to meet demand for quality products at affordable prices, and growth is expected to continue in the year ahead,” says Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy.

December 2017 was estimated at 1.6 million TEU—a 2.6-percent YOY increase—which positions 2017 for a final reading of 20.1 million TEU, up from 2016’s final score of 18.8 million TEU.

“On a percentage basis, 2017 was one of the strongest increases we’ve seen since the end of the Great Recession,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett adds. “That’s no minor achievement at a time when many are trying to talk down the economy. The rate is expected to slow down some, but with 2017’s performance and continuing high consumer confidence, our models show continued growth in the coming year.”

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