“With a major tariff increase already announced and the possibility that tariffs could be imposed on nearly all goods and inputs from China, retailers are continuing to stock up while they can to protect their customers as much as possible against the price increases that will follow,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
Escalating tariffs against Mexico starting at 5% had been planned to start Monday, “but those goods travel by truck or train and do not affect cargo numbers at U.S. seaports,” according to the Global Port Tracker announcement.
U.S. ports covered by the Global Ports Tracker handled 1.75 million TEUs in April, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. It represented an 8.4% increase over March and a 6.9% year-over-year growth, but was slightly below the 1.76 million TEUs estimated in the May tracker.
The tracker estimated ports handled 1.88 million TEUs in May, a 3% year-over-year increase but down from the 1.9 million forecast last month. It forecasts June at 1.86 million TEUs; July at 1.93 million TEUs; August at 1.95 million TEUs; and September at 1.89 million TEUs, all of which would be year-over-year increases but lower than last month’s forecasts.
October is forecast at 1.95 million TEUs, which is 4.4% lower than 2018.
The Global Port Tracker covers the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Port of Virginia, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami and Jacksonville on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.