GCTL8.com (FocusAsia Media Ltd)

LONG BEACH, Feb 13 (FAM) – The rush to stock up US retail inventories ahead of factory shutdowns in China for the Lunar New Year celebrations has boosted both volumes and freight rates on the transpacific trade so far in 2017. According to the latest Global Port Tracker report, demand will remain buoyant through the first half of the year.

The report, produced by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, forecasts that US box imports to major retail container ports would increase 4.6%, year on year, during the first half of 2017 “as the nation’s economy improves and retail sales continue to grow”.