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Florida retailers prepare for the holiday season while imports expect to surge

Washington County News

Tallahassee, FL – As Florida and the rest of the United States continue to reopen, the Florida Retail Federation announced that retailers nationwide have set a new record of imports in preparation for the holiday season, according to a report released on September 9. 

According to the data, U.S. ports handled 1.92 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in July, up 19.3 percent from June. A TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

August was estimated at 2.06 million TEU, a 6 percent year-over-year increase. Actual August numbers won't be confirmed until next month, but if reported as estimated, it will beat the previous record of 2.04 million TEU set in October 2018.

"Florida retailers are relieved to be able to restock and replenish their inventory after reopening the state," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "With the challenges we continue to face in 2020, Florida retailers are committed to making for a more joyful year's end for consumers during the holiday season. We want to support our customers during these challenging times and safely provide a merrier season for them and their loved ones."

The forecast for September is set at 1.89 million TEU, up 1.1 percent year over year. The report forecasts about 7.58 million TEU during the July-October “peak season.” This timeline is when retailers prepare merchandise for the winter holiday. According to the data, this forecast could make 2020 the third-busiest peak season on record following 7.7 million TEU in 2018 and 7.66 million TEU last year.

The data shared by the Florida Retail Federation is informed by a monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation.  The Global Port Tracker is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, which provides historical data and forecasts for U.S. ports.

For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/imports-spike-economy-continues-recovery-and-retailers-stock-holidays