North American Retail Predicts Increased Demand in Summer and Fall Again in 2022! Concerns about Port Congestion and Lack of Space

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Today, I would like to talk about, “U.S. Retailers Urge Ports to Prepare for Strong Summer and Fall Imports.”

Daily Logistics Radio by IINO san in 12th July 2022

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Imports Strong through November

U.S. retailers are urging ILWU, The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and employers’ associations, PMA, to reach labor agreements without labor disruptions that would strain the already strained port supply chain.

U.S. retailers expect imports to remain strong at least through November.

Nevertheless, peak shipping volumes during the summer and fall months are expected to be slightly down from last year’s record-breaking shipments.

Comparison with 2021

U.S. imports in 2021 were up an exceptionally large 17.4% over the previous annual record set in 2020.

Imports will continue to be strong, albeit slightly lower this year.

NRF, The National Retail Federation, and Hackett Associates released the following forecasts for month-over-month imports in the July GPT, Global Port Tracker.

July: 5.3% increase
August: 0.5% decrease
September: 0.8% decrease
October: 4.1% decrease
November: 2.5% decrease

July is up 5.3%, but this is due in part to retailers stocking up on fall and winter products ahead of schedule. August and September saw a slight decline, and October and November will see a combined 6.6% decline.

Congestion on the East Coast, Impact of Labor Negotiations

Supply chain bottlenecks are now surfacing at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports, and these bottlenecks are expected to continue through the 2022 peak season.

Overarching the trade are contract negotiations between PMA and IWLU on the West Coast that began in May.

Vice President of Supply Chain and Tariff Policy for the National Retail Federation said, “Supply chain challenges will continue throughout the year, but it is especially important that labor and management at the West Coast ports come to the negotiating table and reach an agreement.”

Demand will not drop much this year, even during peak season. If work on the union side of the bargaining table slows down, there is a good chance of a logjam.

As I reported on the radio yesterday, port congestion is also occurring in Europe. We may not be able to get space again.

I will continue to update you on North American information.

That’s all for today. Thank you.