MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — November 14, 2012 — Zepol Corporation, the leading trade intelligence company
reports that U.S. import volume in October, measured in TEUs (twenty-foot-containers), is down 6.8%
from September and another 4.8% from October of last year. This is total of 1,433,446 containers
imported. Interestingly, low October numbers were not always the case. Looking at prerecession
levels, October had some of the highest TEU counts, but in 2011 and 2012, the holiday import-surge
has shifted back to July and August. For the remainder of 2012, U.S. imports will most likely
decline as the peak season ends for importers and consumption begins to wane.
A Closer Look at U.S. Imports for October:
Exporting Countries – The United States saw a significant drop in imports from
Asian countries this month by over 5%. China, which accounts for over 60% of Asian exports to the
United States, fell 8.2% from September and 2.4% from October of 2011. Japan, on the other hand,
increased in TEUs to the United States by 14.2% from September and increased from last October by
1.7%. Europe was a similar story to Asia, with most countries seeing a drop in imports from
September. Germany saw a 16.4% drop from September and Italy and Belgium decreased 7.3% and 19%,
U.S. Ports – The Port of Los Angeles, which accounted for 24% of U.S. imports in
October, fell 6.4% from September and another 5.7% from last year. The Port of Newark/New York also
fell significantly from September by 24.8%. Unlike most Ports, the Port of Tacoma actually saw an
increase in TEUs of 2.3% and an even larger increase from last October by 36.3%.
Carriers – Most carriers also saw a drop in October TEU imports from September.
The top VOCC (vessel-operating common carrier), Maersk Line, fell 13.5% this month, as well as
Mediterranean Shipping Company by 9.6%. On the other hand, APL Co had a significant rise in imports
by 12% and even rose from October of 2011 by 13.6%. Overall, even though vessel imports are down in
October, total U.S. imports for the year are up 2.6%, compared with January through October of
Zepols data is derived from Bills of Lading entered into U.S. Customs and Border Protections
Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). This information represents the number of House manifests
entered by importers of waterborne vessel goods. This is the earliest indicator for trade data
available for the previous month’s import activity. The data excludes shipments from empty
containers, excludes shipments labeled as freight remaining on board, and may contain other data
Posted on November 27, 2012
Source: Zepol Corp.