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NRF: Retail Imports Pick Up Ahead of Holiday Season

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Retail Federation (NRF) has reported that retailers unexpectedly increased imports for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker, which is released by the NRF and Hackett Associates. The expected twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the period between July and October is now just shy of 7.6 million, which would make 2020 the third-highest holiday “peak season” on record, the Washington, D.C.-based organization said.

“It’s important to be careful how much to read into these numbers after all we’ve seen this year, but retailers are importing far more merchandise for the holidays than we expected even a month ago,” says Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “Some of these imports are helping replenish inventories that started to run low after consumers unleashed pent-up demand when stores reopened. But this is the clearest sign yet that we could be in for a much happier holiday season than many had thought.”

The most recent numbers available for the Global Port Tracker is from July, when retailers imported 1.9 million TEUs, beating the forecast of just under 1.8 million.

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