New York City Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to total 12.3 million containers for 2009, a drop of 18.8% since last year and the lowest level in seven years, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released Wednesday by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.
“The national recession has clearly been reflected in the volume of cargo U.S. retailers have imported this year,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Numbers are down significantly, but the good news is that we’re expecting to move from double-digit declines into the single digits by the end of the year. That’s some light at the end of the tunnel that we’re really looking forward to seeing.”
This year’s peak season is beginning with very weak import container volume, and even though traffic is slowly building, that’s going to be the case through the remainder of the year, according to IHS Global Insight economist Paul Bingham.
“Summertime rail maintenance and the threat of hurricanes could cause some delays in the transportation system across the country, but the ports themselves are free of congestion and have more than sufficient capacity,” Bingham said.