U.S. Imports on the Rise

Commercial container ports expect to see a 4.6 percent rise in imports for the first half of 2017, over the same time period in 2016. As the nation’s economy continues to grow, retail sales are expected to carry over strongly across the import industry from the holiday season.  As the federal government has promised to devote $1 trillion to infrastructure, ports are feeling more confident. Mid-size ports are especially interested as they begin undertaking plans to expand and deepen their current harbors to accommodate Post-Panamax vessels carrying more than 10,000 TEUs.

Larger ports like Long Beach and New York and New Jersey have completed work on the basic dredging and expansions and now focus strongly on the rail, yard and technology improvements they’ll need to stay competitive as smaller ports begin growing. Steady increases in imports during a strengthening economy could assist ports in acquiring the extra money they need to devote resources to fixing and rehabbing much of the eastern seaboard.

Improvements in the economy are following current forecasted trends that show gains in retail spending and consumer sales during 2017. As retailers import more merchandise, it’s an excellent indicator of their expectations for store shelves.  Freight forwarders have shown a remarkable adaptation to the uptick of e-commerce in retail sales recently, which certainly accounts for bolstered numbers. As they become more and more comfortable in this emerging market, expectations are that their technology will be next in line for improvements.

“The rise of global e-commerce has dramatically increased the number of companies shipping across borders, and although many of those companies have small volume and unsophisticated service needs, it is inevitable that some will need the help of a forwarder or NVO, especially as they grow,”   said Eric Johnson, in a special report for American Shipper.

With our home Port of Virginia steady improving to become a global powerhouse port on the east coast, we here at Nelson will continue to watch trends and information to ensure you’re shipments are finding the best, cost-effective and time-sensitive journeys we have to offer.