Panjiva data shows decline in U.S. bound shipments from November to December

The 7 percent sequential decline comes on the heels of a 0.2 percent gain from October to November

By ·

Despite some recent glimpses of economic improvement in recent weeks, global trade activity showed a typical seasonal decline in December, according to data from Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

United States-bound waterborne shipments from November’s 1,029,789 to December’s 956,879 were down 7 percent and up on an annual basis for the same period—with November 2010 at 1,013,564 and December 2010 at 868,365. From November 2010 to December 2010, shipments were down 14 percent compared to 7 percent a year later.

This 7 percent sequential decline comes on the heels of a 0.2 percent gain from October to November, with shipments showing sequential increases 4 of the past 9 months. In 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 November to December shipments were down 9 percent, up 3 percent, down 5 percent, and down 1 percent respectively, said Panjiva.

The number of manufacturers shipping to the U.S. from November’s 146,843 to December’s 140,656 was down 4 percent. For the same period in 2010, the number of manufacturers shipping to the U.S. was down 9 percent.

While the numbers were down, Panjiva CEO Josh Green explained it is a function of seasonality to a large degree, adding that it was not out of the range of what was expected.

“December into January and February typically sees significant declines from a seasonal standpoint,” said Green. “The only exception came at the end of 2009, when we saw an increase [in shipments] from November to December.”

But the 7 percent decline in shipments is half of what it was the previous year, which makes it good news, said Green.

And shipments on an absolute level providing an encouraging sign, too, with December 2011 shipments up 10 percent compared to December 2010.

“For most of 2011, we were tracking right around where we were in 2010,” noted Green. “We then reached the end of the year and saw shipments up 10 percent so that is really quite good. What this reflects is relatively strong ordering for inventories that were needed for the first half of 2012, and these orders were placed just before the holiday season and reflected a degree of optimism among purchasing executives about what the first half of 2012 might look like.”

With recent jobs numbers showing some strength, Green said that could serve as a catalyst to give sourcing executives confidence when placing orders and is an important indicator to keep an eye on.

But he noted that the tenuous economic situation in Europe requires even more attention.

“If Europe takes a turn for the worse from here, then the trajectory of trade becomes completely unpredictable,” said Green. “Uncertainty is a killer. You want to be able to place orders in an environment in which there is reasonable visibility as to what the future holds and now that is virtually impossible in Europe.”


About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Global Trade · Panjiva · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...