This week, Zepol completed the data for June in our U.S. Customs trade data tool, TradeIQ
. June's results show that imports are up from May by 7.6%. This increase is double the average increase from May to June in the last 5 years. In addition, container traffic is down only 12.4% compared to June 2008. These numbers may be one of the first indicators of a recovery for the U.S. Trade economy.
A 12.4% decrease in trade is large, but compared to declines near 20% for previous months, it is promising. This could be a leading indicator that companies have exhausted their supplies and now need to buy products to maintain inventory levels. If the recession settles down to a 12% decrease in imports over the next couple of months or even gets to 5% or 10%, the recovery could be right around the corner.
Below is a table showing the port regions of the world where shipments originated:
over May 2009
|Central America (includes Mexico)
The numbers this month point to a trend in near sourcing amongst importers; Central America (includes Mexico) is flat and North and South American import shipments were actually up over both June 2008 and last month. By bringing their suppliers closer to the United States, companies can save on transportation costs and take advantage of low cost countries in the Western Hemisphere. Asia and Europe both continue to show weakness, but the declines are less than previous in months.
On the United States port side, New York and Seattle were winners as their sister ports of Newark and Tacoma were both down. New York's rise and Newark’s decrease of 10.7% is a reflection of the near sourcing trend by American shippers. Container lines should pay attention to these numbers as they could be an indication of a long term trend or maybe just a minor bump in China's dominance of trade.
Below are the top 10 ports in the United States by shipment count:
Zepol's U.S. Customs trade data
over May 2009
|Los Angeles, CA
|Long Beach, CA
|New York, NY
is taken from Bills of Lading entered into the Automated Manifest System. The information represents the number of House manifests entered by importers of waterborne containerized goods. This indicator is the earliest data available for the previous month’s trade activity.