U.S. import container volume fell 4.8 percent in October, year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the trade intelligence firm Zepol Corp.
Volume imported during the month was 1.4 million TEUs.
“Low October numbers were not always the case,” Zepol said. “Looking at pre-recession levels, October had some of the highest TEU counts, but in 2011 and 2012, the holiday import-surge has shifted back to July and August.”
The threat of a port strike along the U.S. East and Gulf coast ports from Oct. 1 may have induced some importers to move volume up earlier in the year to avoid potential disruptions.
The decrease in imports from China was at 5 percent in October, with China the origin for more than 60 percent of U.S. inbound volume. European exports to the United States also fell, headlined by a 16.4 percent drop from Germany.
Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. both saw their U.S. inbound volumes drop precipitously in October – 13.5 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively – while APL actually increased volumes by 13.6 percent.
Total U.S. imports for the year through October are up 2.6 percent, Zepol said. - Eric Johnson