US ports handled 1.72m teu in July

Imports shot up by 15% at the ports of Los Angeles, pictured, and Long Beach in California in July Photo: joey zanotti/flickr/CC BY 2.0 Imports shot up by 15% at the ports of Los Angeles, pictured, and Long Beach in California in July Photo: joey zanotti/flickr/CC BY 2.0

US ports saw a boom in imports in July, with preliminary data from the National Retail Federation showing that they handled the equivalent of 1.72m teu, just missing out on creating a record.

Furthermore, according to Fox Business, imports shot up by 15% at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California in the same month, while the Port of Savannah reported its busiest July ever.

The Port of Houston's loaded import containers also increased by 13% year-over-year.

Auto-parts, furniture and back-to-school-related goods shipments were some of the areas which saw the strongest categories of growth, analysts with trade data service Panjiva said.

Furniture-import business Charles Jacobsen, based in Culver City, told Fox Business that they had imported more this year than in many previous ones.

Importers and logistics firms said that July's growth boom was due to rising consumer confidence, a factor which also reached its second-highest level since 2000, the Conference Board said.

Contrary to recent years, where the normally busy months at US ports - from midsummer to early autumn - saw uneven or flat volumes as retailers worked through excess inventories, import data from this year demonstrates that retailers are coming towards finishing this process and are now restocking to keep up with growing demand.

Retailers and manufacturers in the country are doing this moving towards the advent of this year's peak shipping season, when imports normally increase ahead of the end-of-year holidays.

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