According to MANA, the increase is ascribed to the improvement of the nation’s economy and further growth of retail sales.
“This is very much in line with what we are forecasting for retail sales and consumer spending this year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.
“Retailers try to balance inventories very carefully with demand. So, when retailers import more merchandise, that’s a pretty good indicator of what they are expecting to happen with sales.”
Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.58 million TEUs in December, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 3.8 percent from November as the holiday season came to an end but up 10.2 percent from December 2015. That brought 2016 cargo volume to a total of 18.8 million TEU, up 3.2 percent from 2015, which had grown 5.4 percent from 2014, the report said.
Furthermore, January was estimated at 1.59 million TEU, up 6.6 percent from January 2016.
Those numbers would bring the first half of 2017 to 9.4 million TEU, up 4.6 percent from the first half of 2016. That would be almost three times the 1.6 percent growth seen in the first half of 2016 over the same period in 2015.