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U.S. vessel lmports drop 6.8% in October

But more surprisingly, they’re down from October of 2011.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
November 19, 2012

Zepol Corporation reported this week 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.

According this leading trade intelligence company, this is total of 1,433,446 containers imported.

“Interestingly, low October numbers were not always the case. Zepol’s CEO Paul Rassmussen. “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.”

According to Rassmussen, U.S. imports will most likely decline as the peak season ends for importers and consumption begins to wane. ??

Meanwhile, 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%, respectively.

The Port of Newark/New York also fell significantly from September by 24.8%. But the Port of Tacoma actually saw an increase in TEUs of 2.3% and an even larger increase from last October by 36.3%.

Most ocean cargo 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 2011.

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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