The expected increase follows the Trump administration’s raised duties on $200bn of Chinese imports, to 25% from 10%, on 10 May this year. Trump also has plans to levy new 25% tariffs on “most remaining Chinese goods.”
The report, Global Port Tracker, covers the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Port of Virginia, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami and Jacksonville on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast.
NRF supply chain and customs vice president Policy Jonathan Gold said: “Much of this is driven by consumer demand but retailers are likely to resume stocking up merchandise before new tariffs can take effect. Tariff increases and new tariffs will mean higher costs for US businesses, higher prices for American consumers and lost jobs for many American workers.
“We encourage the administration to stay focused on a trade agreement, and we hope the negotiations will get back on track. It would be unfortunate to undermine the progress that has been made with more tit-for-tat tariffs that only punish Americans.”
According to the report, the US ports handled 1.61 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) cargo container units, in March, representing an increase of 4.4% year-over-year.
The country has seen a 21.8 million TEU of retail imports during the full year 2018, a 6.2% increase compared to a 20.5 million TEU during 2017.
Imports for the first half of this year are expected to reach a total of 10.7 million TEU, a 3.9 increase compared to the same period the prior year.