(Mike King – Lloyd’s Loading List)
Efforts by lines to withstand the plunge in spot rates on eastbound Transpacific trades have been given a demand-side boost by the latest import forecasts from retailers.
The monthly Global Port Tracker, produced for the National Retail Federation by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, predicts that import cargo to major US ports will rise 8% this month over April 2014, not least as West Coast ports continue to recover from the backlog of cargo that built up over the last year as a new labour contract was discussed.
The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union tentatively agreed on a five-year contract in February. Although a final decision will not be made by ILWU until May 22, productivity at most – but not all – ports has picked up and backlogs are being cleared. Click here to read more.
Related: Imports Rising as West Coast Ports Recover (MarineLink.com)