Zepol's Blog of U.S. Imports and Exports

Top 10 Imports in the United States for 2013

U.S. imports in 2013 decreased from the total value in 2012 by 0.38%. Not surprisingly, the top import for the United States is oil. Oil accounted for 12.5% of the total U.S. imports in 2013. Automotive vehicles are the second largest import in the United States. Foreign car imports were valued at over $152 billion in 2013, which was an increase from 2012 by 4.1%. Cell phones, medicines, and clothing make up another huge portion of American imports as seen in the table below.

The table shows the top 10 U.S. imports by total value for 2013 listed by HTS code (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) and NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System)

Top 10 HTS Codes
Total Value
Top 10 NAICS Codes
Total Value
1 Petroleum Oils - 2709.00 $273,494,624,173 Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas - 211111 $283,131,222,983
2 Passenger Motor Vehicles - 8703.23 $82,981,537,230 Automobiles - 336111 $152,962,966,668
3 Passenger Motor Vehicles - 8703.24 $62,126,272,098 Radio and Television Broadcasting Equipment - 334220 $97,483,137,407
4 Petroleum Oils - 2710.19 $52,552,323,170 Petroleum Refinery Products - 324110 $90,746,455,033
5 Imports of Articles Exported and Returned - 9801.00 $51,841,567,386 Electronic Computers - 334111 $59,494,499,150
6 Telephones for Wireless Networks - 8517.12 $49,724,298,691 Goods Returned to Canada (exports) Goods Returned Reimported (imports) - 980000 $55,193,278,330
7 Portable Digtl Data Processing Machines - 8471.30 $42,640,245,049 Pharmaceutical Preparations - 325412 $50,779,917,165
8 Medicaments - 3004.90 $33,756,253,227 Women's, Infants, Apparel - 315240 $45,615,959,917
9 Light Oils and Preparations - 2710.12 $33,588,869,815 Semiconductors and Related Devices - 334413 $39,288,212,505
10 Machines for Transmission of Voice - 8517.62 $29,865,371,621 Jewelry & Silverware - 339910 $38,725,947,262

6 Things to Know About U.S. Trade with Russia

Russia is a relatively large trading partner with the United States. The recent talks of sanctions on oil and energy between the two nations could cause a significant impact on U.S. companies. So how much and what does the United States actually trade with Russia? These six stats give a brief visual on the current state of trade between the United States and Russia.

    1. Russia is the 18th largest nation the United States imports from and accounted for over $26 billion worth of U.S. imports in 2013.

    2. Heavy oil fuels make up almost half of U.S. imports from Russia. HTS code 2710.19.0635 made up over $11 billion worth of the U.S. imports from Russia.

    3. Most U.S. imports from Russia arrive through the ports of New Orleans, Louisiana and Houston, Texas which combined handle most of the heavy fuel imports.

    4. Over $48 million in duties were applied to U.S. imports of Russian goods last year (2013).

    5. 94% of Russian exports to the United States arrive by cargo ship vs. air shipments.

    6. The top U.S. exports to Russia are civil aircraft engines and parts, HTS 8800.00.0000, which accounted for $1.9 billion of the $11 billion in U.S. exports to Russia.

US trade with russia graph

Zepol Launches New Website

Zepol is happy to launch its new website to the public after a lengthy research and design process. Zepol hopes the new site will help its customers and prospects find the information they are looking for more quickly and with fewer clicks. The less-busy design now helps visitors better understand how Zepol’s U.S. import and export application can improve their business.

Zepol’s application lets users search the documents of over 130 million U.S. import and export shipments. This information is used to monitor competition, generate targeted sales leads, and even find and track suppliers overseas. The new site includes customer reviews, client case studies, videos, and more, to help prospects see how the thousands of Zepol customers benefit from its tools.

“We are excited to already see a change in web traffic and visitor behavior with our new site.” says CEO of Zepol Paul Rasmussen, “Our goal was to simplify our visitors’ experience and give them a better way to research and evaluate our application, which is clearly working.”

Below is a before and after of Zepol's new website.

Zepol Website Before and After image

Zepol's New Beta HS Code Search

Zepol is thrilled to announce that subscribers now have access to the beta version of our HS Code search in TradeIQ Import. An HS Code is a 6-digit code that identifies an imported product and determines the amount of duties owed. In the first phase of this enhancement, subscribers can navigate to the HS Code they are interested in by clicking the HS Code tab. With the new HS Code search subscribers can:

  • View lists of HS Codes for importers and suppliers
  • Search by 6-digit HS Codes in addition to product keywords
  • Narrow down a broad Product search by selecting an HS chapter

Also, Master bill of lading numbers are now clickable links to reports that show the Master bill of lading and the House bill of lading you were viewing. The Master bill of lading can show additional information regarding the product, ports, and companies involved in the transport of the shipment.

To see these enhancements in action, please view the short video demonstration below or Contact Us for more information.

U.S. Import Update January 2014

Zepol’s TradeIQ Import reports that U.S. cargo imports for January of 2014 were up 5.7% from January of last year and 4.6% from December. The majority of the increase in import volume is attributed to Asia and Europe. Both regions rose in exports to the United States from last January by 6.7% and 8%, respectively. Since July of 2013, U.S. imports have gradually increased from 2012 and don’t look like they will slow down, especially with recent legislation.

In a recent article by the Los Angeles Times, President Obama announced that his new order will make the process for importing and exporting goods more efficient. Obama stated that U.S. Customs would shift the wait-time for import and export permits from a few days to a few minutes. This will be done by streamlining required import and export documents to make them all electronic, and all in one place. Obama has given agencies until December 2016 to complete this new system.

The new order will likely save importers time and money and contribute to the overall increase in imported and exported goods. The online system has already begun implementation and is known as the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). Many importers already submit their forms with ACE, and in fact, this is the system that Zepol receives its data from.

The graph below shows monthly U.S. imports from 2012 through 2014.
US Monthly Imports Graph

The table below shows U.S. imports in January of 2014 compared to January of 2013.
Port Region
January 2014 TEUs
% Change from
  Jan 2013 
January 2014
% Change from
  Jan 2013 
Asia 1,157,369
6.7% 585,556 7.1%
Europe 188,197 8.0% 107,337 10.5%
Central America 123,154 -5.5% 48,601 -2.0%
South America
6.9% 20,805 0.6%
Middle East 28,993
22.4% 15,859 20.3%
Other 23,517
1.7% 12,200 8.0%
Africa 11,513
-5.7% 5,233 6.4%
Australia, New Zealand
and Oceania
11,126 -2.6% 5,528 -3.6%
North America 2,205
-33.7% 1,829 -14.9%
Total 1,594,855 5.7%
802,948 6.9%