Executive Briefings

U.S. Imports for July and August Indicate Busier Holiday Shopping

U.S. imports in August are the second-highest month for twenty-foot container volume in 2013, according to Zepol, a trade intelligence company. The United States imported nearly 1.61 million TEUs in August, which is 5% less than July's 1.69 million, but a half a percentage higher than August of last year.

"The holiday import months of July and August were 1.5% higher in volume compared with the same two months in 2012," says Zepol's CEO Paul Rasmussen, "This is one of the only significant differences in TEU volume from 2012 to 2013, which hints at a more active holiday shopping season."

Quick Stats for U.S. Imports in August of 2013:

1. Exporting Countries - U.S. imports from Asia are down 3.4% from July. Although, August still had the second highest monthly volume from Asia in over a year, with a total of 1.17 million TEUs imported. U.S. imports from China are down only 0.9% from July, but are up 3.2% from this time last year. European exports to the United States are down 8.8% from July, but slightly above average, with about 202,000 TEUs exported to the United States. A quarter of Europe's decrease was due to Germany, which dropped in exports by 10.7% from last month.

2. U.S. Ports - Ports in the United States also decreased slightly in TEU imports from July. The Port of Los Angeles declined in TEU volume by 8.4%. August was still Los Angeles' second highest month in volume for 2013, with over 342,000 TEUs brought in. The Port of Savannah was the only port in the top ten to post an increase in August with a rise in TEU volume of 9%, which is over 106,000 TEUs.

3. Carriers - Most carriers had a dip in volume for August. Maersk Line, the top carrier in the United States, decreased by 3.8% and Mediterranean shipping company, ranked second, dropped 2.9%. Although, Evergreen Line and Hanjin Shipping sang a different tune, both rose in TEUs by about 1.5% from July to August.

Zepol's data is derived from bills of lading entered into U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). This information represents the number of house manifests entered by importers of waterborne vessel goods. This is the earliest indicator for trade data available for the previous month's import activity. The data excludes shipments from empty containers, excludes shipments labeled as freight remaining on board, and may contain other data anomalies.

Source: Zepol Corp.

"The holiday import months of July and August were 1.5% higher in volume compared with the same two months in 2012," says Zepol's CEO Paul Rasmussen, "This is one of the only significant differences in TEU volume from 2012 to 2013, which hints at a more active holiday shopping season."

Quick Stats for U.S. Imports in August of 2013:

1. Exporting Countries - U.S. imports from Asia are down 3.4% from July. Although, August still had the second highest monthly volume from Asia in over a year, with a total of 1.17 million TEUs imported. U.S. imports from China are down only 0.9% from July, but are up 3.2% from this time last year. European exports to the United States are down 8.8% from July, but slightly above average, with about 202,000 TEUs exported to the United States. A quarter of Europe's decrease was due to Germany, which dropped in exports by 10.7% from last month.

2. U.S. Ports - Ports in the United States also decreased slightly in TEU imports from July. The Port of Los Angeles declined in TEU volume by 8.4%. August was still Los Angeles' second highest month in volume for 2013, with over 342,000 TEUs brought in. The Port of Savannah was the only port in the top ten to post an increase in August with a rise in TEU volume of 9%, which is over 106,000 TEUs.

3. Carriers - Most carriers had a dip in volume for August. Maersk Line, the top carrier in the United States, decreased by 3.8% and Mediterranean shipping company, ranked second, dropped 2.9%. Although, Evergreen Line and Hanjin Shipping sang a different tune, both rose in TEUs by about 1.5% from July to August.

Zepol's data is derived from bills of lading entered into U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). This information represents the number of house manifests entered by importers of waterborne vessel goods. This is the earliest indicator for trade data available for the previous month's import activity. The data excludes shipments from empty containers, excludes shipments labeled as freight remaining on board, and may contain other data anomalies.

Source: Zepol Corp.