As we gear up for back-to-school and the winter holidays, one of the biggest voices for the retail industry – National Retail Federation – is predicting August, and the next three months to be more optimistic and see higher levels of import cargo volumes.

Key Takeaways:

  • What August import levels are predicted to be
  • Back-to-school shopping trends

NRF Predict Imports in August to See High Levels

The National Retail Federation is predicting imports in the month of August to hit their highest levels in almost over a year.

The NRF also predicts August to be the only month in 2023 to exceed import levels of two million TEUs for the major largest port operations in the U.S., the Maritime-Executive reports.

Throughout the fourth quarter, the NRF projects imports of over 5.8 million TEUs. If that projection happens, it would be around a 5 percent increase, over the 5.5 million TEUs back in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Back-to-School Shopping Trends

Data from the National Retail Federation, expects back-to-school spending to hit $41.5 billion, which would be up from $36.9 billion last year. While back-to-collage spending is expected to hit $94 billion, up about $20 billion more compared to last year.

“Back-to-class shopping is one of the most important consumer shopping occasions of the year. Our research for 2023 shows American consumers are eager to jumpstart their back-to-school and college purchases early,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

Back-to-school shopping is already in full force but as of early July, 85% said they still have at least half of their shopping to do. Furthermore, while it’s expected that consumers will be spending more on school related items this year, they still want to find the best deals.

“Consumers are stretching their dollars by comparing prices, considering off-brand or store-brand items, and are more likely to shop at discount stores than last year,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said.

Looking Ahead

When the year is over, it will be interesting to take a look at first half volumes and see how they compare or differ from the second half of 2023.

Should you have any questions regarding this and how it could impact your shipments, please reach out to our team today.

Additionally, we have our weekly market updates that can provide you with relevant freight news, updates, developments across the industry, and more.


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