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Retailers Still Stocking Up Ahead of Possible Tariffs, But More Slowly

Source: National Retail Federation, July 10, 2019

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports will remain at high levels this summer but are expected to grow only modestly compared with last year’s rush to bring merchandise into the country ahead of scheduled tariff increases, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers still want to protect their customers against potential price increases that would come with any additional tariffs, but with the latest proposed tariffs on hold for now and warehouses bulging, there’s only so much they can do,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We will still see some near-record numbers this summer, but right now no one knows whether there will be additional tariffs or not. We hope the restarted negotiations with China will result in significant reforms rather than more tariffs that tax American companies and consumers.”

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Import Cargo Volume

Retailers Continue to Stock Up Inventory to Get Ahead of More Tariffs

Source: National Retail Federation June 7, 2019

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to continue to grow this summer as retailers stock up inventory to get ahead of higher tariffs, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“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,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

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NRG Import Graph

Retail Imports Rising Ahead of Expected Higher Tariffs

Source: National Retail Federation May 9, 2019

With retail sales rising and President Trump saying he plans to both increase and broaden tariffs on goods from China, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see unusually high levels the remainder of this spring and through the summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Much of this is driven by consumer demand but retailers are likely to resume stocking up merchandise before new tariffs can take effect,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariff increases and new tariffs will mean higher costs for U.S. businesses, higher prices for American consumers and lost jobs for many American workers. We encourage the administration to stay focused on a trade agreement, and we hope the negotiations will get back on track. It would be unfortunate to undermine the progress that has been made with more tit-for-tat tariffs that only punish Americans.”

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National Retail Federation April 8, 2019

Retail Imports Rising Again as Summer Approaches

Source: National Retail Federation April 8, 2019

With tariff increases delayed for the foreseeable future and the busy summer season approaching, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are beginning to climb again, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers are starting to stock up in anticipation of a strong summer,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariff increases are on hold and progress is being reported in talks between the United States and China, so the imports we’re seeing now are driven primarily by expectations for consumer demand.”

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retail imports graph for march 2019

Retail Imports Drop to Annual Low with Retailers Between Seasons and Tariff Hike on Hold

Source: National Retail Federation March 8, 2019

With the retail industry in its annual lull between seasons and plans for a tariff increase on hold, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to drop to their lowest level in almost a year this month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Now that the holiday season is over and summer has yet to crank up, this is the quiet time of year for retail supply chains,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers are also taking a break from the rush to bring merchandise in ahead of tariff hikes now that the increase that was scheduled for March has been delayed. We are hoping that the delay is permanent and, better yet, that tariffs of the past year will be removed entirely. But either way, imports will start to build up again soon as retailers prepare for the summer.”

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NRF Import Cargo Volume Report

Retail Imports Still Strong as Possible March Tariff Hike Approaches

Source: National Retail Federation – February 11, 2019

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have dipped since peaks seen last fall but remain at higher-than-usual levels as a possible increase in tariffs on goods from China approaches in March, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“With trade talks with China still unresolved, retailers appear to be bringing spring merchandise into the country early in case tariffs go up in March,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We are hopeful that the talks will succeed, but until the trade war is behind us, retailers need to do what they can to mitigate the higher prices that will inevitably come with tariffs.”

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MIQ NRF Graph

Retail Imports Level Off after Rush to Beat Tariffs

Source: National Retail Federation

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have slowed down after a months-long rush to beat increased tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“With the holiday season behind us, the immediate pressure to stock up on merchandise has passed but retailers remain concerned about tariffs and their impact on the nation’s economy,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers have also brought in much of their spring merchandise early to protect consumers against higher prices that will eventually come with tariffs. Our industry is hoping the talks currently under way will bring an end to this ill-advised trade war and result in a more appropriate way of responding to China’s trade abuses that won’t force American consumers, workers and businesses to pay the price.”

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NRF Monthly Import Cargo Volume

Monthly Imports Reach 2 Million Containers for First Time as Retailers Continue Rush to Beat Tariffs

Source: National Retail Federation

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have set another new record, reaching 2 million containers in a single month for the first time as retailers continued to bring merchandise into the country ahead of a now-postponed increase in tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“President Trump has declared a temporary truce in the trade war, but these imports came in before that announcement was made,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We hope that the temporary stand-down becomes permanent, but in the meantime there has been a rush to bring merchandise in before existing tariffs go up or new ones can be imposed. China’s abuses of trade policy need to be addressed, but tariffs that drive up prices for American families and costs for U.S. businesses are not the answer.”

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NRF 2018 Import Cargo Volume Graph

Retail Imports Slow Down from Peak but Remain Strong Ahead of Tariff Increase

Source: National Retail Federation

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have slowed down from their pre-holiday peak but remain at unusually high levels as retailers continue bringing in merchandise before tariffs increase in January, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Imports have usually dropped off significantly by this time of year but we’re still seeing numbers that could have set records in the past,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Part of this is driven by consumer demand in the strong economy but retailers also know that tariffs on the latest round of goods are set to more than double in just a few weeks. If there are shipments that can be moved up, it makes sense to do that before the price goes up.”

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Import Cargo Volume

With Supply Chains Difficult to Change, Retail Imports Remain Strong after Latest Round of Tariffs

Source: National Retail Federation

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to remain at near-record levels this month despite a new round of tariffs that took effect in September, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers are continuing to import merchandise in order to meet consumer demand even though tariffs are now in place on roughly half the goods imported from China and the trade war is still escalating,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers are doing their best to mitigate the impact on their customers, but they are not able to quickly or easily change their sourcing. That means these tariffs will eventually mean higher prices for American consumers.”

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