Panjiva data shows sharp declines in global trade activity from August to September

{lm_summary}

By ·

New data from Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, found that there was a “significant seasonal drop in global trade activity in September.”

This was reflected in matching 8 percent declines for the number of United States-bound waterborne shipments and the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. from August to September.

Shipments were down for the second time in the last six months at 1,030,068 for the 8 percent decline. This is steeper than the sequential drop-off in recent years, with 2010 down 6 percent, 2009 down 5 percent, 2008 down 7 percent, and 2007 down 4 percent during the same timeframe.

Manufacturers shipping to the U.S. hit 141,435, which was also steeper than declines in previous years, with 2010 down 6 percent, 2009 down 5 percent, 2008 down 7 percent, and 2007 down 4 percent.

Earlier this year, Panjiva CEO Josh Green told LM that with August typically being the peak year for shipment and manufacturer levels for global trade, that coming declines were likely. With September’s numbers, Green’s forecast was indeed correct.

“We did expect to see this decline,” he said, “but what is somewhat disconcerting is the magnitude of the decline. If you compare it with the declines of previous years, it is the largest we have seen in the last four years. It gives fuel to the fires of fear that are consuming [stakeholders] in global trade right now. As we look around the world and see macroeconomic challenges looming, it is reasonable to be concerned.”

Part of the reason for this is that September shipments represent post-holiday orders, which Green said were being made without a sense of truly knowing what lies ahead, with those parties making orders being somewhat cautious for beyond the holiday season.

And until there is clarity on how resilient consumers are the holiday season, Green said it is unlikely businesses will be aggressive in their buying strategies.

“Businesses have basically decided that it is better to be caught too lean with inventory than the alternative,” said Green. “Typically what we see is a slow decline through February at which point we should see growth again.”

Given this situation, Green said it is expected that businesses will remain cautious with order and buying patterns, adding that he will be taking a close look at the difference between the peak in August and the trough in February in terms of how sharp the declines are, coupled with levels of supply chain contraction.


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!

Latest Whitepaper
Managing Global Transportation: How NVOCCs can operate more profitably
Global transportation isn’t getting any easier to manage. With new rules and regulations to learn, new compliance requirements to adhere to, and new customers and business partners to onboard, navigating the complexities of the global market can be difficult for any company. To fully leverage their global supply chains, firms need a robust, global transportation management system that helps them navigate this ever-changing environment.
Download Today!
From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
2016 State of Logistics: Ocean freight
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo