3PL Providers Prepare for Peak Season as Imports Surge

Retail stores and vendors are already in full preparation for the upcoming holiday season. It may only be mid-September but windows and interiors are decorated with bright lights and jolly Santa figures. Not only is the retail segment preparing for a massive holiday season but importers and 3PL providers are bracing for a surge of imports as well.

3PL Providers Prepare for Peak Season as US Imports SurgeImports increased 5.6% compared to the same period last year and a 6.7% increase from July, according to PIERS.

During the peak shipping season between August through December, impressive gains over last year’s figures are being posted on all of the goods and seasonal gifts arriving at U.S. docks from other parts of the world. 3PL providers are beginning to see business ramp up as we approach the holiday season in the U.S.

Let’s look at the numbers. In August 2016, U.S. containerized imports increased 5.6% compared to the same period last year and a 6.7% increase from July, according to PIERS.

Imported merchandise is also being shipped increasingly to East Coast
Ports such as New York/New Jersey and Savannah as opposed to West Coast counterparts such as Los Angeles and Long Beach.

In August 2016, West Coast ports posted a 50.8% total of U.S. containerized imports; a decrease from the 51% total during the previous month of July and an even further decline from the 53.5% posted a year earlier in August 2015.

Between the two Ports, which are only miles apart, Los Angeles announced its second busiest month in its 109 year history to total container volume while Long Beach posted an 8.9% decrease in total container volume and a 10.2% decrease in containerized imports.

In other parts of the country, East Coast and Gulf Coast Ports demonstrated significant increases. The East Coast captured a 42.5% market share in August 2016, an increase from 42.4% in July 2016 and 40.5% from a year earlier in August 2015.

Along the Gulf Coast, market share increased to 5.9% from 5.8% in July and 5.2% a year earlier in August 2015.

While container ships are continuing to dock and distribute their holiday goods to warehouses, 3PLs are scrambling to accommodate these surging imports.

Logistics providers are seeking additional drivers to provide logistics services such as drayage from the Ports. If a 3PL owns its own drayage operations, it will be able to ensure that all of this imported merchandise during the peak season is thoroughly audited, tracked, and linked across its entire journey.

The Ultimate 3PL

National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.