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CNBC‘s Lori Ann LaRocco writes:

– Peak season, the time of year when retailers start importing holiday items, begins in August and runs until October.

– Last year’s peak season trade orders were flat year over year.

– Logistics managers are hoping for a slight uptick in peak season this year, and back-to-school orders are trending higher, but the CEO of logistics company OL USA warns that a “normal peak season” may not return until Q3 2024.

The Covid hangover of inventories continues to be a big headache for retailers and the logistics companies which make money moving their products. As peak retail trade order season nears — July is the official start of the back-to-school and holiday order inventory build that runs through October — executives in the shipping industry are keeping a watchful eye on order activity.

Holiday orders are traditionally imported starting in August, with the manufacturing orders for these items made by retailers as much as six months in advance. During that timeframe this year, the U.S. consumer was facing record inflation and retail discretionary spending behavior was defined by a more discerning shopper…

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