According to a recent article from Bloomberg entitled “Your Presents On Way Offer Holiday Sales Clues: EcoPulse,” a projected uptick in inbound container volume is projected for the holiday season. Though inbound container volume at California’s Los Angeles and Long Beach ports was down .7 percent in July when compared to July of 2013, the volume had risen 13 percent from the prior month due to retailer anticipation of a good holiday selling season. Those two ports account for almost 50 percent of all U.S. container imports, the article noted.
A possible dockworker strike also prompted early ordering this year, the article stated. Retailers have been quick to ink contracts with carriers to ensure that trucks will be available to deliver their holiday goods in the busiest shopping weeks of the year. Experts say that this, again, points to gains in economic recovery and the promise of shoppers who are a little more comfortable with gift-buying this year.
Retail sales excluding the purchase of automobiles, gasoline, and spending at restaurants is expected to increase 4.2 percent in November and December, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures. Each of the past two years have seen gains of 3.1 percent during that time period, the article stated.
Container demand is not just increasing in the U.S., but globally as other countries’ economies also improve. The net operating profit after tax this year in freight industry is expected to be significantly higher than last year’s $1.5 billion. Because of the increase in inbound freight volume at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, there is likely to be an increased demand for trucking as well, as the same retailers who brought the goods to the country in the first place will utilize trucking companies to have them delivered to stores, the article noted. It is also important to note that the U.S. is experiencing a very significant Capacity Crunch with a shortage of Truckers this will undoubtedly have a positive effect on Freight Brokers who have the flexibility of a large network of Truckers at their disposal.