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Global trade activity finishes 2013 on a flat note, reports Panjiva

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 06, 2014

Data recently released by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, showed that global trade activity was relatively flat to finish the year from November to December.

But even with that as a backdrop, Panjiva reported that U.S.-bound waterborne shipments in December—at 1,093533—represent the highest number of December imports on record since 2007, adding that there was no percentage change from November to December, compared to previous year November to December changes of 17 percent in 2012, -7 percent in 2011, -14 percent in 2010, 3 percent in 2009, -8 percent in 2008, and -3 percent in 2007. Compared to December 2012, shipments were up 1 percent. 

The number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S in December—at 136,437—was down 5 percent from November to December and were down 3 percent compared to December 2012.

“This data looks pretty good,” said Panjiva CEO Josh Green in an interview. “For 2013, we ended up 6 percent higher than 2012 in terms of total shipments, and that is pretty healthy growth, which may suggest the economic recovery continues to gain steam.”

The slight decline in the manufacturers is not a major cause for concern, said Green, as slippage is typically expected through February, which is usually a seasonal low, explaining that overall these numbers are in line with what occurred during the second half of 2013.

Looking back at the fourth quarter, Green said data met expectations, as consumer spending numbers for the fourth quarter (personal consumer expenditures rose 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce) matched expectations of sourcing executives placing orders for merchandise globally, with those expectations largely positive and making for a good end to 2013.

On a quarter-to-date basis, Green said it is too soon to say how things will shake out just yet.

“As always, the first quarter represents the low point due to seasonality and on some level that is always likely, because the people making buying decisions needed to see how the holiday season went to get to the right answers in terms of how much inventory they should be accumulating in 2014,” he said. “Now that the answer is in things bode pretty well for the first quarter and better for the second quarter and beyond.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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