Posted by Kevin Palmstein on Monday, December 28, 2009
As we wrap up Christmas, it is time to look back and compare how Christmas imports fared this year to previous years. As you can see below, holiday total imports have taken a hit over the years.
Imports of holiday knick knacks have decreased severely over the years. When comparing yearly highs, wood ornaments are down 25.21% from September 2008 while glass ornaments have decreased 33.3%. Christmas trees have also taken a big hit with plastic tree imports decreasing 31.89% from September 2008 and real trees down 38.41%.
However, it has been reported that seasonal sales are actually up this year. Some are attributing this to better inventory management and an increase in online sales, but as others have noted, we really won't be able to compare seasons until after this next week; the week after Christmas accounts for 15% of the season's sales.
Posted by Kevin Palmstein on Tuesday, December 22, 2009
With 2009 coming to an end, we wanted to take a look back at everything that has happened in the last year and look forward to what 2010 will bring to Zepol, trade data, and international trade. There is no doubt that 2009 was tough on many importers, exporters, and the companies that service them, however many forward thinking organizations were able to see growth.
Zepol once again had a record year, expanding the companies that have chosen Zepol as their trade data provider because we offer the most innovative solution in the market. Instead of looking just for data, our customers have asked us to deliver trade information that can be used to create knowledge and drive highly important decisions for their international companies. We continued to answer this call in 2009 by creating several innovative enhancements; below are just some of the releases from our product team:
In addition, we brought the best U.S. Census trade data tool to the market in September, TradeView
. This product now allows hundreds of users to have the most flexible access available to the U.S. trade statistics they need to analyze their markets, look for opportunities, and easily spot trends in trade.
In 2010, Zepol will make huge waves by providing unprecedented access to the most voracious users of the trade data we provide. This expanded access will make it possible for institutional users capitalize on
the trade data tools that the top importers and transportation service providers have had access to since 2004. By working with our current customers and thought leaders across international markets, we look forward to bringing a ground breaking solution to the market.
Zepol will continue to develop relationships with the media and bloggers that need access to international trade information for which their readers thirst. As part of our mission to educate the world about international trade, we will bring regular trade data pieces to publications including: Logistics Today
, the American Journal of Transportation
, Cargo Business News
, the National Provisioner
and many more.
We thank all of our current subscribers and look forward to working with more forward thinking trade professionals in 2010.
Posted by Kevin Palmstein on Tuesday, December 15, 2009
On December 11th, the U.S. Census Bureau released their Merchandise Trade data numbers. The Merchandise Trade deficit saw a 7.36% decrease this month as export growth outpaced import growth (click here to see September's U.S. Census data update
). Export totals increased 9.73% while total imports rose 3.71% from September. This brings the deficit to $406 billion for the year, which is still 42% lower than the same period in 2008.
Below is an in-depth breakdown of the U.S. Census Merchandise Trade data released last week. This month we have highlighted 5 interesting items that we found while looking at October's data; here are the hightlights:
Click here for Zepol’s U.S. Census Merchandise Trade Data Update for October 2009
- Consumer sentiments may have improved, but imports only slightly
- Cadbury resists takeover while chocolate numbers remain stagnant
- China’s exports nearing normality
- Vaccine imports down
- Increasing demand for meat
Posted by Kevin Palmstein on Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Zepol completed the data for November on December 5th for our U.S. Customs trade data tool, TradeIQ
. Import shipments decreased in November by 1.74% to 716,426 shipments, the fewest import shipments seen since June 2009. Contrasting the starkness of that statement, imports are returning to 2008 levels with imports being down only 0.29%. Unfortunately, import levels are still nowhere close to pre-recession totals. Imports are down 12.75% when compared to November 2007.
Below is a table showing port regions of the world where shipments originated:
over Nov 2008
over Oct 2009
over Nov 2007
|Central America (includes Mexico)
The below data illustrates more clearly a thread we have mentioned in earlier posts. Carriers have gravitated towards different ports as increased competition for customers has pushed carriers and ports alike to look for new revenue streams and to cut costs so they can lure new customers. This has drastically effected the growth of some ports. A stark example of the variations of success are the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. The Port of Seattle, WA has grown by 7.32% since 2007 while the port of Tacoma, WA has shrunk by 44.38%, despite being only 35 miles away from Seattle. This certainly is reflective of the fallout of the Maresk move from Tacoma to Seattle
, but Tacoma's numbers should improve when NYK moves into the terminal left vacant by Maersk's move
Below are the top 10 ports in the U.S. by shipment count:
Zepol's U.S. Customs trade data
over Nov 2008
over Oct 2009
over Nov 2007
|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.