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US retail: 2008 slowest year since 2004


According to the National Retail Federation of the US and IHS Global Insight, year-on-year cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports fell for the 16th straight month in November, making 2008 the slowest year since 2004 as the US economic downturn continues. Volume is projected to total 15.3 million TEU for 2008, compared with 16.5 million TEU in 2007, a decline of 7.1% and the lowest total since 2004, when 14 million TEU moved through the ports.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong port’s total container throughput for November was down by 13.2% over November 2007. In November, only 1.81 million TEU were handled at the Hong Kong port.

Meanwhile, from January to November this year, the Hong Kong port has handled 22.5 million TEU, 2.9% more than in the same period last year. For the whole of 2007, 24 million TEU were handled at the Hong Kong port.

Across the border, in Shenzhen, the ports handled 1.7 million TEU in November 2008, 5.6% less than in November 2007. From January to November this year, 19.8 million TEU have passed through the Shenzhen ports, 3.3% more than in the same period last year.