August 10th in Economy, Shipping by .

A Glance at US Imports / Exports in 2011

Imports at top U.S. container ports will lag last summer’s totals before posting year-over-year gains when the peak season for holiday imports kicks in this fall, according to a monthly forecast co-sponsored by the National Retail Federation.

Growth in containerized imports slowed to 4 percent in the second quarter after rising 9 percent in the first three months of 2011
During the first half of the year, containerized imports rose 6.3 percent to 8.36 million 20-foot-equivalent units.

“The economy continues to face challenges, …

Imports at top U.S. container ports will lag last summer’s totals before posting year-over-year gains when the peak season for holiday imports kicks in this fall, according to a monthly forecast co-sponsored by the National Retail Federation.

Growth in containerized imports slowed to 4 percent in the second quarter after rising 9 percent in the first three months of 2011
During the first half of the year, containerized imports rose 6.3 percent to 8.36 million 20-foot-equivalent units.

“The economy continues to face challenges, but job growth has been stedy and retailers have been adding jobs themselves as sales improve.

While cargo volume is expected to increase through this fall’s holiday shipping cycle, Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said a number of key economic indicators are raising concerns about future cargo growth.

“Industrial production in China is weak, bulk commodity imports are declining and ports are beginning to report reduced export volumes,” said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates. “In the U.S., we have lower private consumption, lower government expenditure and lower indices like the purchasing managers’ index. This is cause for concern because it could lead to lower growth of trade volumes.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.25 million 20-foot-equivalent units in June, the latest month for which numbers are available. That was down 2.6 percent from May and 5 percent from June 2010.

Auto parts posted a 28 percent increase in the first half of 2011. Tire imports increased 22 percent. Auto parts and tires were up sharply early in the year and rose after Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami as companies accelerated orders to avoid supply chain disruptions.

China accounted for nearly 3.9 million TEUs, or 46.5 percent of all containerized imports arriving at U.S. ports during the first half of 2011. South Korea was a distant second with 336,706 TEUs, or 4 percent of the total. Japan, Taiwan and Germany rounded out the top five.

Containerized imports from China rose 5 percent this year through June. South Korea’s shipments were up 9 percent, boosted by auto parts. Containerized imports from Germany were up 18 percent, largely due to increased shipments of auto parts.

One Comment

  • Steven Hansen
    January 22, 2012

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