Retail Imports Plummeted In March Amid High Inventory Levels

by MR Magazine Staff

Ocean-borne imports into the U.S. fell short of expectations in March, according to a new report from retailers, signaling dimming confidence in a rebound in consumer spending. Ports covered by the Global Port Tracker report, released monthly by the National Retail Federation and research firm Hackett Associates, handled 1.32 million inbound twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, in March. That was down 14.2% from February, missing an earlier forecast for 1.35 million TEUs. It was also down 23.7% from a year earlier, but the comparison is misleading because of a burst in import volume in March 2015 as West Coast ports cleared cargo that had been backlogged due to a labor dispute. Container volume numbers will continue to be difficult to compare year-over-year for the next two months. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.