Total traffic for all imports entering all U.S. ports was down 1% in week 19, 2011, compared to the same week in 2010, according to U.S. import market data compiled by Zepol Corp. Despite the slump in week 19, for the year to date, overall traffic remains up 8% over the same period in 2010.
Steel imports had the biggest positive gain in week 19, being up 8% over the comparable week in 2010. Chemical imports also showed a modest gain, being up 3%.
Furniture imports, on the other hand, were down by 9% in week 19, compared to the same week in 2010. Mineral and stone (-7%), electronics (-7%) and textile imports (-6%) were among the categories that were off compared to the previous year.
On a regional basis, the only area in week 19 that showed growth over the previous year was the Gulf Coast, where activity at the ports was up 26%, paced by plastics and rubbers (up 89%). Activity at the other regions was down slightly, including the West Coast ports (down 2%), the East Coast ports (down 2%), and all other ports (down 10%).