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ICAT Blog: Article Retail Imports Expected to ‘Spring’ Back in 2021

March 16, 2021

It’s pretty apparent that 2020 was a bust, but the retail industry is preparing to ramp up tremendously in 2021. This is great news for the global economy that has been suffering from worldwide shutdowns since March of last year.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) who released their monthly Global Port Tracker report just last week, increased vaccinations and continued in-store safety measures are fueling the return to more traditional shopping options. From these predictions, the NRF has stated that with this returning boom, it could turn out to be “record retail sales growth in 2021.”

That means imports into the U.S. have been increasing heavily. Retailers have begun importing large amounts of merchandise to meet the overall demand of the returning economy. And, although February is traditionally the slowest month of the year as Asian factories close for the Chinese New Year, many remained open during the holiday this year to fill a surge in orders, which is ultimately causing more backlog delays at major U.S. ports. With February results not available yet, it is projected that imports were up 24.4% compared to last year, and March is forecasting to be up 44.1%

The first half of 2021 is forecast at 11.7 million TEU, which is up 23.3% from the same time period in 2020. Many people who were once looking for a glimmer of hope in the start of recovery can begin seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Ben Hackett, the founder of Hackett Associates, which provides expert consulting and research to the international maritime industry, recently stated, “The successful distribution of vaccines will help ensure that the economic recovery will likely be strong and sustainable.”

ICAT Logistics is here to help with all of your retail logistics needs. As imports continue to thrive for this industry, our invaluable solutions and team of experts will get your product in front of returning consumers.


Nicole Reed , CX Manager

Nicole Reed

CX Manager