The theme of “back to normal” season patterns for United States-bound consumer goods may be ready to take hold in early 2020, following an even 2019 that was riddled with atypical trends and volumes related to the U.S.-China trade war and related tension. That was the word from the most recent 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.
This report comes in advance of the White House poised to sign the long-awaited Phase One trade deal with China on January 15 after saying it would lower tariffs that went into effect in September and cancelled another round that was originally slated to go into effect on December 15, while other tariffs remain in place.