Our West Coast Ports To Sign New Agreement & In The Meantime…
The contract between the Pacific Maritime Associates and International longshore and Warehouse Union expired on July 1st, 2014. As both sides continue their negotiations to reach and sign a new agreement, retailers are thinking ahead and exporting holiday merchandise into the country at record levels to protect themselves of any future supply chain disruptions.
Retailers have equipped themselves with contingency plans and have begun shifting cargo from West Coast to the East Coast ports. June was up 7.6% from the same month last year and July is forecasted to be up 4.3% from the same time last year. Overall, NRF is predicting 4.1% sales growth from 2013 to 2014, which does not directly correlate with sales but shows the expectations for growth from the retailers.
While many agree that the new negotiations are driving the early increase in imports this year, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett stated that “the increase in volume also reflect an improving economy.” The sharp decrease in unemployment, consumers’ solid spending growth over last three months, and consumers’ confidence have led to an upswing in our economy overall.