Friday, November 11, 2011

Rail Traffic to Dip

Retail container traffic on the West Coast and at all major US ports is expected to collectively dip this month compared with the same period last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The NRF’s monthly Global Port Tracker report, which was released Nov. 9, projects that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to fall about two percent this month compared with November 2010. This month is forecast at 1.21 million TEU, down 1.9 percent from last November.

Additionally, traffic is also expected to drop in each of the next three months. In December, traffic’s expected to fall to 1.11 million, a decline of 3.3 percent from December 2010. The January 2012 forecast calls for 1.1 million TEU, an 8.7 percent drop from January 2011; and 996,800 TEU next February, down 9.4 percent.

Jonathan Gold, the NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy, said that retailers are being very strategic with their supply chains this time of year and keeping inventory levels extremely lean.

The Global Port Tracker report covers the ports of Long Angeles-Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York-New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.