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US imports through top retail ports spike 7pc in 2017 to 20.1 million TEU



THE major retail container ports in the US registered seven per cent growth in import volumes during 2017 over the previous year, as retail sales continued to rise and the industry experienced a strong holiday season in the run up to Christmas, according to the Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.74 million TEU in November, up 5.8 per cent year on year. December was estimated at 1.6 million TEU, up 2.6 per cent. The total for 2017 is expected to come to 20.1 million TEU. August set a new monthly record of 1.8 million TEU. January 2018 is forecast at 1.68 million TEU, up 0.2 per cent year on year.

NRF vice president Jonathan Gold was quoted as saying in a report by AJOT: "Retailers imported more merchandise than ever to meet demand for quality products at affordable prices, and growth is expected to continue in the year ahead."

NRF forecast that 2017 retail sales would grow between 3.2 and 3.8 per cent over 2016 and that holiday sales would increase between 3.6 and four per cent.

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