A large number of imported goods revealed an existing problem in the United States - insufficient space for warehouses and storage facilities.


The National Retail Federation ("NRF") and the international information trading company Hackett Associates recently released the "Global Port Tracker" (Global Port Tracker) shows that in December 2018, the United States imported more than 11 retail containers The monthly increase was 8.8%, which was lower than the peak in the fall of 2017, but still higher than the normal level.


Overall, US import shipments reached a record 21.8 million TEU in 2018, an increase of 6.2% from the record 20.5 million TEU in 2017. It is estimated that the US import cargo volume in the first half of 2019 will increase by 4.1% compared with the first half of 2018.


Retailers have speeded up their imports to keep enough of their supplies before the March 1 deadline. If China and the United States cannot reach a consensus by March 1, the United States will impose a 10% to 25% tariff on Chinese imports worth US$200 billion.


NRF said that although China and the United States began negotiations in December 2018 to resolve trade disputes, retailers have been preparing for rising import costs since 2018.


Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy, said: "As the Sino-US trade dispute remains unresolved, in order to reduce losses, retailers are also busy shipping spring goods to China before the March tariff increase. We hope that China-US negotiations Can be successful, but before the end of the trade war, retailers still have to do their best to reduce the impact of rising prices caused by high tariffs."


Retailers may be doing their utmost to ensure inventory, but a large number of imported goods reveal an existing problem in the United States – there is not enough space in warehouses and storage facilities. According to data from the real estate research firm CBRE Group, the existing US warehousing and logistics space is at a low point for many years. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the supply of industrial real estate in the United States fell to its lowest level since 2000.


To cope with the rapidly growing demand, both enterprise and warehouse vendors are struggling to find creative solutions, such as short-term storage trailers and digital platforms with warehouse space.


In fact, not only the volume of imports and exports of retail products has increased significantly before the effective date of tariffs. According to the analysis of the data of the US Department of Agriculture by the Baltic International Shipping Association (BIMCO), in January, 754,609 tons of soybeans were sent to China in the United States. 25,347 tons in December.


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