American Imports Expected to Surge Ahead of a Busy Holiday Season

The volume of imports this year into ports across the USA continues to be robust and is viewed by some economists as a gauge of increased consumer buying and retail sales.

According to the latest report from Global Port Tracker, which keeps track of import activity in about a dozen of America’s busiest ports, October should be one of the busiest months for importing in history. August, the latest month for which this particular data is available, set a record for monthly cargo volume. But as retailers prepare for the holiday season by increasing their inventory orders, October is expected to break that August record.

Import volume at ports in the USA including those in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Charleston, Savannah, Miami, and Houston is forecast to surpass the 1.52 million shipping container benchmark that was achieved in August. Meanwhile, cargo volume for the year has been consistently strong and well above the typical monthly figures as the economy improves, and retailers take proactive steps to ensure they have enough inventory on hand going forward.

“Part of the push to import more this year,” explains Meghan Robinson, CEO of Sunovis Financial, “is that small business owners have been eager to take delivery of their imported items and want to avoid any end-of-year disruptions or delays. Oftentimes if they procrastinate, congestion in the nation’s harbors or an unexpected labor strike can create severe problems as the holiday season approaches. Retailers are having a good year, consumers are feeling confident, and the economic recovery is expected to produce big revenues in the fourth quarter of 2014. All of those factors are convincing business owners to import sooner rather than later, which is helping to fuel the import volume numbers.”

The 1.52 million 20-foot shipping containers imported in August was 1.5% more than in July, and 2.1% higher than the volume for August of 2013. Although the numbers for September 2014 are still being processed, experts believe that they will come in at around 1.48 million units, representing a nearly 3% increase over last year’s September results. If October breaks the record with imports of 1.53 million as is expected to happen, that will be a huge increase of 6.4% over last year.

Global Port Tracker expects 2014 totals to exceed 17 million containers. Already the number of shipping containers imported for just the first half of the year is 8.3 million, which is 7% more than during the same period last year.

“Although cargo volume does not directly correspond to retail sales or small business revenues,” says Robinson, “the numbers do tend to indicate the direction of the retail economy. With imports rising we know that businesses in the USA expect strong sales, and we have already seen brisk activity in the form of small business loans and loan applications that can help fund those orders of imported merchandise and equipment.”

Contact Info:
Name: Meghan Robinson
Email: Send Email
Organization: Sunovis Financial
Address: 7500 College Blvd Ste. 500
Phone: 855 243-7191

Release ID: 67109