Import cargo volume at major U.S. retail container ports is expected to increase year-over-year for the first time in more than two years during the early months of 2010, according to a Port Tracker report released Tuesday. January volume will show a continued decline, but the downward trend is likely to break in February with three consecutive months of increases, said the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight, which coauthored the report. In October, U.S. ports surveyed by Port Tracker handled 1.2 million 20-foot equivalent units. October container traffic was 4 percent higher than September, but was still down 14 percent compared with a year earlier. Port Tracker surveyed ports, including Los Angeles-Long Beach, New York-New Jersey and Houston.

This story first appeared in the December 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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