The figure is not a surprise due to February's low numbers. More significant is the total 2.6-percent rise in TEUs for Q1 of 2012, compared to Q1 of 2011, as well as the 6.2-percent rise this March from March 2011. In addition, Q1 of 2012 outpaced the first-quarter numbers for the past three years.
Key Statistics from this Month's Update:
1. U.S. imports from China had a spike in TEUs of 12.3% from February, but dropped from January by 20%. Total TEU imports from China for Q1 of 2012 were up by a mere 0.1% from Q1 of 2011. However, a more notable increase came from Germany, which rose 20% in March from February. Imports from Germany also had a significant increase of 15.4% in Q1 of 2012 from Q1 of 2011.
2. The majority of inbound cargo to U.S. ports rose in March from February, but failed to surpass January TEUs. The Port of Los Angeles increased in imports by 22.4% from February, but is down 10.6% from January. Similarly, the Port of Long Beach rose in March by 26.8% but was still lower than January imports by 13%. Many U.S. ports saw a small increase in TEU imports for Q1 of 2012 compared to Q1 of 2011. Ports worth mentioning are the Port of Houston and the Port of Charleston, which both rose over 11% in Q1, and were the only ports in the top-ten-list to show increases over 10%.
3. For Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (VOCCs), there were few that rose in TEU imports from February and almost all were down from January numbers. Evergreen Line decreased 12.9% from February and 13% from January. Conversely, Mediterranean Shipping Company increased 13.7% from February and 2.4% from January, the only top-ten VOCC to rise from January imports in March. For Q1 of 2012, Maersk Line spiked 20.6% from Q1 of 2011 and China Ocean Shipping Company also saw a large increase of 16.2% for Q1.
Zepol's data is derived from bills of lading entered into the Automated Manifest System. 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.
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Source: Zepol Corporation
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