Panjiva reports record-high monthly import volumes for July

July shipments, at 1,096,835, topped June’s 1,025,643 and were up 6% annually for a new monthly record, according to Panjiva, topping August 2017’s 1,069,292.

Logistics in the News

U.S.-bound retail container volume set new record, says Port Tracker
“Trade Truce” with China proved to be a remarkable prediction
U.S.-China trade truce buys supply chain managers a little more time
Transportation Management 2018: Navigating the new realities
project44 announces acquisition of Denmark-based GateHouse Logistics
More Logistics News

Logistics Resource

New White Paper focuses on the ABC’s of Anti-Dumping/Countervailing Duties
While the U.S. government has always prioritized protection of U.S. companies against imports that are sold at below market prices, or unfairly subsidized, the Trump administration clearly intends to raise the bar with regard to trade policy enforcement.
All Resources
By ·

Data issued this week by global trade intelligence firm Panjiva showed record-high United States-bound waterborne shipments in July.

July shipments, at 1,096,835, topped June’s 1,025,643 and were up 6% annually for a new monthly record, according to Panjiva, topping August 2017’s 1,069,292. All months in 2018 have seen growth, with the exception of a 0.2% decline in March, which was the first one going back to a 7.7% annual drop-off in February 2017. On a year-to-date basis through July, shipments are up 6% annually at 6,975,786.

“These numbers are probably a little stronger than what was expected,” said Chris Rogers, Panjiva research director, in an interview. “We initially expected a more rapid pullback in imports from China because of the new import duties [tariffs]. I think what we are probably seeing due to a few things. First, clearly $200 billion is more than $50 billion, and importers are more concerned about the widening range of tariffs, and that is kind of overpowering the effect of the initial round of tariffs for $34 billion worth of Chinese imports that took effect on July 6. We are going to see this rolled out over the next couple of months. The planned $200 billion is not a big concern yet….and would probably not be imposed until mid-September at the earliest. August import numbers could be strong as well…with these duties potentially falling in the middle of peak shipping season.”

Another factor cited by Rogers focused on the underlying status on consumer spending levels, which he described as pretty robust and is likely driving a solid underlying level of import growth. He explained that was clear in certain sectors, like apparel, which has been very strong lately, even though it has been weak overall for the last couple of years.

With the tariff situation currently as is, Rogers said it is likely import growth will remain intact through the end of the year, at least on the consumer side. On the industrial side, though, sectors like automotive, for example, are trending into negative territory.

“One reason is the section 232 review has yet to actually bear fruit, and some of the automakers are pursuing things as business as usual….with auto sales trending down,” he said. “Another thing related to that is NAFTA negotiations dragging on. It is looking like any type of phase in period for new NAFTA rules could be measured in years and not months. That leads to automakers saying that underlying demand is soft and there is no need to rush to beat these tariffs so imports for that part of the industrial economy are weaker.”

Looking out to the remainder of 2018, Rogers explained that with the bulk of President Trump’s threatened tariffs against China not expected to kick in until late August or early September, it is likely U.S. import growth will hold steady. And he added that on a historic seasonality basis and excluding a late Peak Season impact from tariffs, U.S.-bound waterborne shipments could head up by as much as 5.2% in 2018 over 2017.

“Annual growth could also come in at 2%-3%, which is not an unrealistic expectation,” he said. “That really depends on how extreme this round of tariffs are and how soon they are implemented.”


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 · Ocean Freight · Panjiva · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Travel Time Forecast Infographic
Combining traffic speed insight with highly localized weather forecast data to help more accurately predict travel time.
Download Today!
From the November 2018 Logistics Management Magazine
If I were to share a single observation from this year’s CSCMP conference, it would be this: Nearly every conversation I had in Nashville touched on the motor carrier capacity crisis.
Land O’Lakes lock in Texas-based capacity
How will the tariff war with China affect U.S. container ports?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The Future of Multi-Carrier Shipping Systems (Beyond the Shipping Label)
How confident are you that the shipping solution you have in place today will meet emerging delivery and customer service trends over the next five years? In this webinar transportation technology expert Ken Fleming, COO of Logistyx Technologies, discusses the key trends shaping supply chain delivery today and how they’re influencing shipping system requirements.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
The Logistics News that Shaped 2018
Every year at this time, group news editor Jeff Berman combs through the mountain of news that was...
Land O’Lakes lock in Texas-based capacity
Faced with the challenge of securing capacity in specific lanes, the iconic company broke with...

8th Annual Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Work in progress
Volumes are strong and steady, service is improving, yet our panel of the nation’s foremost rail...
Transportation Best Practices and Trends: Frios’ cool solution for a hot seller
Gourmet ice pop maker adopts collaborative cold chain solution to keep profits from melting away due...