Logistics News

Port Tracker reports more volume gains are expected, but tariff troubles still loom

Even with a new round of tariffs having recently gone into effect, United States-bound imports are pegged to stay at what are being described as record-high levels, according to data in the new edition of the Port Tracker report, which was issued today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and maritime…

Even with a new round of tariffs having recently gone into effect, United States-bound imports are pegged to stay at what are being described as record-high levels, according to data in the new edition of the Port Tracker report, which was issued today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and maritime consultancy Hackett Associates.

The ports surveyed in the report include Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, Houston, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, and Savannah, Miami, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Port Everglades. Authors of the report explained that cargo import numbers do not correlate directly with retail sales or employment because they count only the number of cargo containers brought into the country, not the value of the merchandise inside them, adding that the amount of merchandise imported provides a rough barometer of retailers’ expectations.

“Retailers are continuing to import merchandise in order to meet consumer demand even though tariffs are now in place on roughly half the goods imported from China and the trade war is still escalating,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said in a statement. “Retailers are doing their best to mitigate the impact on their customers, but they are not able to quickly or easily change their sourcing. That means these tariffs will eventually mean higher prices for American consumers.”

For August, the most recent month for which data is available, Port Tracker reported that U.S.-based retail container ports handled 1.89 million TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), which was off 0.6% compared to July and up 3.4% annually. September was pegged at 1.84 million TEU for a 2.7% annual gain, and October is estimated to be up 4.3% at 1.87 million TEU.  November and December are expected to come in at 1.79 million TEU (a 2.3% annual increase) and 1.8 million TEU (a 4% annual increase, respectively.

If October comes in at the expected volume level, the report said that would stand as the fifth consecutive month to exceed the top month in 2017, which was August 2017’s 1.83 million TEU. That was snapped this past June at a recorded 1.85 million TEU and again in July with 1.9 million TEU.

On a cumulative basis, the report said it expects 2018 to come in at 21.4 million TEU, which would represent a 4.4% annual gain, which would top the current record of 20.5 million TEU recorded in 2017.

What’s more, these sequential gains sync up well with the NRFs expectations for 2018 holiday season (which it defines as the months of November and December) retail sales, with an estimate of a 4.3%-to-4.8% annual increase, with full-year 2018 retail sales expected to be up a minimum of 4.5% annually.

Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett wrote in the report that the increase in tariff-related activity is likely to impact global trading relations.

“The third round of tariffs is now in place, an increase in the level of tariffs is coming, and further tariffs have been threatened if China retaliates,” he wrote. “Of course, China will apply pinpointed tariffs of its own as will the European Union and whoever else has a tariff applied to their exports.”

He added that in the United States, the ports, particularly on the West Coast, will be negatively impacted by declining volumes and consumer prices will no doubt start to rise in the face of 25 percent tariffs.

“Someone has to take the hit – the administration cannot afford to subsidize both exporters (farmers) and importers,” he noted. “North American ports will need to adjust to fewer vessels calling as the carriers consolidate their cargos on larger ships. The shift of capacity into lay- up is on the rise as efforts to maintain freight rates become critical. Tough times are ahead for all concerned.”


Article Topics
Imports   NRF   Ocean Cargo   Port Tracker   tariffs   TEU   All topics


Comments
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

About the Author
Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman
 
Latest Logistics News
Trucking Ambassadors of Safety
As Landstar’s “ambassadors of safety,” Landstar Safety Officers (LSOs) are the representatives from each independent agency at the forefront of Landstar’s Mutual Understanding of Safety Together…

2019 Transportation Management Systems Market Update
The transportation management systems market is growing right along with the number of challenges that shippers face in today’s hectic freight transportation environment.

Transportation & Supply Chain Predictions for 2019
For 2019, we believe the U.S. transportation industry and supply chain professionals will place more emphasis on digitization within the supply chain to help them address future complex challenges.

Holiday Season Heightens Challenges of Online Returns for Retail Supply Chains
Although online retailers are coming to terms with the high return volume that comes with online shopping, reducing the cost associated with those returns remains a top priority.


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles