Steady US import demand forecast for first quarter
JOC Staff | Nov 09, 2018 3:27PM EST
US retailers expect to pull back on imports from Asia in January and February but are expecting relatively
strong demand in March and in the meantime are getting slight eastbound spot rate pricing relief during an
atypical, late peak-season rush.
The Global Port Tracker, produced by Hackett Associates for the National Retail Federation (NRF), forecasts
US imports will rise 2.8 percent year over year in January to 1.8 million TEU. US imports will inch up 0.4
percent in February to 1.7 million TEU and then rise 3.3 percent in March to 1.6 million TEU, according to the
Global Port Tracker.
Some are predicting a continuation of peak season-like conditions — marked by record high spot rates and
space restrictions — not just through the end of the year but continuing until the Chinese New Year holiday
beginning in early February (Week 6) as shippers seek to get goods moving prior to the typical two-week
shutdown of Chinese factories. Chinese New Year falls on Feb. 5, 2019, and the festival period will extend 15
days to Feb. 19th.
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