Retailers: Cargo imports increase nearly 10 percent in preparation for holiday shopping

The NRF analysis forecasted 1.45 million, 20-foot cargo containers, called TEU's for Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, will pass through U.S. ports in October. The figure is compared to 1.49 million TEUs in in September, which was an 8 percent increase from last year, and 1.42 million large containers in August, which represented a 3.3 percent increase from 2011.

The NRF said most holiday merchandise is at least at shipping distribution centers, such as ports, by the end of October, so it expects a drop off in the number of packages that will pass through them the rest of the year.