Friday, August 13, 2010

Port traffic may slow as retailers turn cautious

by Bill McBride on 8/13/2010 09:53:00 PM

This is a followup to my earlier post today on LA port traffic in July ...

From Ronald White at the LA Times: Ports wary of stunted holiday rush

The bad news for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — part of a supply-chain infrastructure that employs dockworkers, truck drivers, railroad employees, warehouse and distribution center staffs and logistics experts — the big bump in holiday-season cargo jobs may not come this year.

Consumers remain very cautious about the safety of their own jobs, and retailers are paying attention to those signals, experts said.

"Retailers are monitoring demand very closely and hoping to see increases in employment and other areas that will boost consumer confidence," said Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation.
This is something to watch over the next few months. Exports have already slowed, and it is possible that import growth will slow too.