Monthly Imports Reach 2 Million Containers for First Time as Retailers Continue Rush to Beat Tariffs

By Steve Frothingham

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2018 – Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have set another new record, reaching 2 million containers in a single month for the first time as retailers continued to bring merchandise into the country ahead of a now-postponed increase in tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.


“President Trump has declared a temporary truce in the trade war, but these imports came in before that announcement was made,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We hope that the temporary stand-down becomes permanent, but in the meantime there has been a rush to bring merchandise in before existing tariffs go up or new ones can be imposed. China’s abuses of trade policy need to be addressed, but tariffs that drive up prices for American families and costs for U.S. businesses are not the answer.”

U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.04 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in October, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 9 percent from September and up 13.6 percent year-over-year. A TEU is one …read more

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