Shipping Containers at Port | Source: Pexels

Retailers across the U.S. have replenished their inventories and are well stocked for the holiday season.

According to the latest monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, the U.S. may have set new records for the “peak season” of retail shipping on the cusp of summer and fall. Current estimates from July through October point to a 6.1% increase in shipping volume over the same period last year, pending final numbers from October.

“Peak season is the Super Bowl of the supply chain world each year as retailers make sure they have enough merchandise on hand to satisfy demand during the holidays, and this is the busiest we’ve ever seen,” says NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold. “Part of this surge was fueled by restocking after retail sales rebounded this summer and part could be making sure there aren’t shortages if we see panic buying again. The economic challenges of the pandemic aren’t over yet, but this clearly shows how an industry that has been under stress is fighting back in a positive way. Retailers don’t import merchandise they don’t think they can sell, so this is a good sign for the holiday season.”

Traditionally, the NRF issues a holiday spending forecast, which has yet to be issued this year due to additional economic data that has not been finalized. Consumers surveyed for NRF by Prosper Insights and Analytics plan to spend an average $997.79, down $50 from last year.