Zepol reports decline in containerized imports

Zepol Corporation reports that U.S. import shipment volume for December, measured in TEUs decreased 8.2 percent from November

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Amid concerns that over capacity will continue to haunt the container shipping industry comes news that U.S. imports have gone into a slump.

Zepol Corporation, a leading trade intelligence company reports that U.S. import shipment volume for December, measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), decreased 8.2 percent from November.

“The amount of laid up tonnage is noticeably distant from the level that made 2010 a very good year,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst for the Baltic and International Maritime Council in Copenhagen (BIMCO).
“Going into 2012, the sector is battling on two fronts from the trenches. A bad global economic weather forecast is the main demand threat, while the oversupply issue is an internal problem to handle.”

This bad news in the Zepol report was softened somewhat by the fact that total imports increased 1.5 percent from December of 2010.

The total number of inbound shipments decreased 6.5 percent from November and increased 2.3 percent from December of last year. For the year of 2011, total TEUs are up 0.98 percent from 2010. 

Key statistics from this month’s update:

*TEU imports from China decreased this year by 0.75 percent from 2010, while imports from South Korea rose by 5.3 percent. Total 2011 imports from Asia did not have a significant change, but dropped a slight 0.5 percent. Imports from Europe went up in 2011 by 8.5 percent, partly due to a 12.2 percent increase seen from Germany and a 19.3 percent rise from Belgium. South American imports also grew in 2011 by 3.6 percent, with moderate rises from Chile and Ecuador. 

*The top port for 2011, Los Angeles, exhibited a 1.8 percent increase in inbound TEUs while the Port of Seattle posted a 14 percent drop from the previous year. Nearly 16 percent of 2011 imports entered through the Ports of Newark and New York, which also saw a 2.6 percent increase from the previous year.

*For master carriers, the rise in inbound TEU imports was seen by Mediterranean Shipping Company with an 11 percent increase and was the second largest carrier this year. At the top of the carrier list was Maersk Line, which slightly decreased from last year by .07 percent. APL also dropped 7 percent and was ranked third for the year 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 [email protected]

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