Containerized Imports Rose Nearly 9% in January

Import shipment volume for January 2011, measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), increased 8.86% from December and 17.64% over January 2010, according to Zepol Corp., a trade intelligence company. The total number of shipments also increased 7.69% from December and 17.62% over last January.

After a four month slide, January showed a significant increase from December, but volumes are in line with November of 2010. Much of this increase was driven by Asian origin shipments as they rose 11.3% in preparation for the lunar New Year.

Ports on the Atlantic Coast show the greatest increases in volumes for January 2011 over January 2010 with an increase of 19.15% compared to the Pacific Coast of 16.80% and the Gulf Coast of 10.68%. This could be an expanding trend as shipments return to 2007/2008 totals and the same capacity issues affect Southern California.

Maersk Line ranks as the top carrier in Zepol’s data, but MSC and APL both show better growth over January 2010 with a change of 4.13% compared to 31.13% and 22.55% respectively.

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 containerized 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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