According to recent data, 2021 is projected to end the year with record-breaking volume and the fastest growth in retail imports on record, despite supply chain disruptions initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The positive news was announced by the NRF last week based on a Global Port Tracker report from Hackett Associates, an international maritime consulting and research firm.
By year’s end, retail imports will top a record 26 million “twenty-foot equivalent units” (TEU) of product, an increase of 18.3 percent over 2020’s 22 million TEU, the previous record. Essentially, a TEU is the equivalent of a single steel shipping container. Even though these containers have been held-up on cargo ships waiting to unload or stacked at congested ports, the supply chain has been working in high gear to keep distribution channels open.