WASHINGTON — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports improved in March over February’s seven-year low, but was still at its lowest level in five years and remained below the 1 million mark, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released yesterday by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.
“Cargo that came across the docks in March is in the stores now, so these numbers show us that retailers expect slow sales this spring and summer, and have been cautious in the amount of merchandise that they’ve ordered,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Month-to-month numbers are rising but we’re still expecting significantly lower quantities of merchandise being imported than we saw last year.”
Volume for U.S. ports surveyed in March, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available, was up 16.8% from February, which was the lowest level since March 2002, but still down 15% from March 2008.
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