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More news surfacing on ocean carrier volumes

Zepol Corporation echoes findings from other leading industry sources
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 14, 2011

In keeping with observations made by shipping analysts in London and Copenhagen, a major U.S. trade intelligence company said ocean carrier capacity continues to outstrip demand.

According to Zepol Corporation, U.S. import shipment volume for September, measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), decreased 6.73 percent from August and showed a similar decrease of 4.52 percent from September of 2010. The total number of shipments also decreased almost 9 percent from August while also showing a decrease of 2.31 percent from September of 2010.

Drewry Shipping Consultants and BIMCO recently told LM of a similar trend.

Still, said Zepol, total TEUs are up 1.44 percent year to date, and U.S. shippers did have a two-month surge leading to September’s slump.

Other key statistics released by Zepol suggest the peak season was short-lived:

*Incoming shipments from both Asia and Europe show decreases of 8.75 percent and 15.74 percent, respectively, for September. Despite an 18 percent increase of shipments two months previously in August, Taiwan recorded a decrease of almost 20 percent in September. Japan also showed a decrease in shipments of over 12 percent in September after a similar increase in August. When comparing incoming shipments from Europe, 11 of the top 15 countries recorded decreases in September, with the largest decrease occurring in Greece.

*Several of the U.S. ports showed decreases in incoming TEUs for September, including the Pacific and Mid Atlantic ports with nearly 9 percent and 12 percent decreases, respectively. Los Angeles and San Francisco each displayed decreases of 9 percent and 11.37 percent last month. Together, the states of New York and New Jersey accounted for 13.38 percent of the Mid Atlantic ports decrease.

*APL Co. maintains their number two carrier position, behind Maersk Line, despite a 7.60 percent decrease in TEUs for September. They are not alone, however, as nine out of the top 10 carriers experienced similar decreases, the highest with Nippon Yusen Kaisha. Of the top 10, Hanjin Shipping Company had the sole increase in TEUs of just 0.64 percent for the month of September.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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