NRF Projects Solid Retail Import Growth

The government shutdown hasn’t meant a shipping slowdown.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation on Monday said imports at the country’s major retail container ports are expected to grow 9.1 percent this month over the same period last year. That figure, reported in the NRF’s monthly Global Port Tracker, reflected merchandise ordered months before the federal impasse.

“With the holidays nearly here, retailers are making sure their shelves are well-stocked,” said NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold in a statement. “Cargo is continuing to move through the ports, but the government shutdown has left some agencies short-handed.”

Most holiday merchandise is brought into the country during the months of August, September and October. More than 4 million cargo containers are expected to come in during these months, equaling a 5.9 percent increase over last year and accounting for 25.6 percent of all retail imports for the year.

Last week, the NRF also forecast 2013’s holiday sales to grow 3.9 percent over last year to a total of $602.1 billion.