Major retailers continue their attempts to reduce inventories that built up at West Coast ports during the recent port labor dispute, “potentially dampening prospects for a surge in shipping heading into the holiday season,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The National Retail Federation anticipates “only modest growth in container imports at US gateways this fall.”
Interestingly, the Journal of Commerce* reports that, in August, West Coast ports experienced a notable increase in Asian imports “to take back market share they had lost to East Coast ports during the aforementioned labor dispute. This continues a trend of a redirection of cargo back to the west, from a peak of East Coast market share (34%) in the first quarter of 2015. (*JOC site registration required)
The JOC also reports that the Port of Long Beach stated that much of its market share lost over the past year was regained. The port also does not expect any significant loss of cargo to the East Coast once the Panama Canal expansion is final in 2016.