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

Valentine's Day | What the United States Imports

Valentines Day Imports Infographic Image

The United States is once again filled with love this time of year as Valentine's Day approaches. So ‘filled’ in fact that American companies have imported over 4,600 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of Valentine’s Day merchandise to prepare. Most of these products include V-Day themed decorations, toys, cards, and candy. The top importing companies of these romantic commodities are Dollar Tree, Michael’s Stores, and 99 Cent Stores.

Although Valentine’s merchandise is nice, it’s not nearly as popular as flowers. U.S. flower imports increase an average 66 percent in the month February. In 2014, February flower imports reached over $138 million and over 52 percent of those were roses. That’s right gentlemen, roses, the most price-inflated bloom of the season.

Usually one thinks of the Netherlands when pondering flower imports, but the United States actually consumes 66 percent of its flowers from Colombia. Most plants arrive at the port of Miami and head to your local florist or grocer from there.

Whether it's a $90 bouquet or a 99-cent stuffed bear, it’s clear there’s no shortage of red, heart-shaped, fragrant, or delicious gifts out there this February, so don’t forget about that special someone, and maybe even treat yourself.

Happy Valentine's Day!


TPP Countries Trade Overview | U.S. Imports and Exports

US Imports from TPP Countries Pie ChartThe Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed trade agreement that’s currently in the planning stages between 12 countries: the United States and Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The TPP has been undergoing scrutiny lately for its lack of transparency and details about what is actually included in the proposed agreement (read more here).

According to ustr.gov/tpp, the goal of the TPP agreement is to boost U.S. exports to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, which currently account for 40 percent of the total global GDP.

In 2014 (January-November), the United States’ trade with these countries amounted to $808 billion in imports (38 percent of total U.S. imports) and $669 billion in exports (45 percent of total U.S. exports). Total U.S. imports from TPP countries grew 3 percent from 2013 to 2014 (January-November) and exports were up 4 percent.

Below is the total U.S. imports and exports for TPP nations in 2014 compared to 2013.

Country 2014 Imports (Jan-Nov) % Change 2013 YTD 2014 Exports (Jan-Nov) % Change 2013 YTD
Canada $317,408,121,032 4% $287,719,531,699 4%
Mexico $270,295,917,977 5% $221,437,036,062 6%
Japan $122,459,147,439 -4% $61,185,661,648 2%
Vietnam $27,944,512,785 24% $5,134,590,835 13%
Malaysia $27,562,311,828 11% $11,914,477,822 -1%
Singapore $15,148,324,381 -9% $28,067,343,905 -1%
Australia $9,692,379,578 14% $24,679,763,554 4%
Chile $8,715,740,492 -9% $15,359,661,131 -6%
Peru $5,527,336,278 -26% $9,246,363,764 1%
New Zealand $3,579,735,938 12% $3,812,109,743 29%
Brunei $31,294,570 93% $473,022,726 -12%
TOTAL $808,364,822,298 3% $669,029,562,889 4%

The hefty import spike from Brunei in 2014 is attributed to methanol. The United States imported over $16 million in methanol so far in 2014 compared to $6 million last year. Also notable, was the large leap in U.S. exports to New Zealand which was due to a 132 percent increase in civilian aircraft, engines, equipment, and parts. New Zealand imported over $1 billion in U.S.-aircraft parts in 2014. Although, most of the U.S. export growth to these nations can be attributed to natural gas and petroleum products which nearly doubled from 2013 to 2014, a shift from $9 to over $16 billion.

Below is a list of the top 10 exported products to TPP nations.
NAICS Product Code 2014 Total Value (Jan-Nov) % Change 2013 YTD
324110 - Petroleum Refinery Products $43,392,754,664 -1%
33641X - Civilian Aircraft, Engines, Equipment, and Parts $24,311,269,971 8%
990000 - Spacial Classication Provisions $20,410,194,938 -2%
336111 - Automobiles and Light Duty Motor Vehicles, Including Chassis $18,925,533,926 1%
211111 - Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas $16,907,328,100 74%
334118 - Computer Terminals and other Computer Equipment $16,879,784,645 7%
334413 - Semiconductors and Related Devices $16,012,373,555 1%
325211 - Plastics Materials and Resins $15,020,501,564 2%
334220 - Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment $13,030,246,741 14%
325199 - All Other Basic Organic Chemicals $12,828,862,980 1%
All Others $471,310,711,805 -
TOTAL $669,029,562,889 4%

The U.S. Trade Representative website has not published whether there will be any import tax or duty breaks on trade with TPP countries. Their total calculated import duties for 2014 (January-November) amounted to nearly $5.1 billion, 84 percent of this is attributed to imports from Japan and Vietnam.

U.S. Imports in 2014 | Top Ports, NVOs, and Countries

Zepol’s data shows that U.S. ocean imports increased 6 percent in 2014 from 2013. Total TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) reached 19.4 million, their highest volume ever. U.S. imports were over 1 million TEUs more than 2013, which reached 18.3 million. The graphs below show just how much growth was seen in 2014.

US imports 2014 vs 2013 graph

(U.S. Monthly Ocean Imports in 2013 vs. 2014 by TEUs)

us imports annual teus 2003 to 2014 graph
(U.S. Ocean Imports from 2003 to 2014 by TEUs)

Top U.S. Ports in 2014
The top U.S. port for 2014 was once again Los Angeles, which increased in import volume by 8 percent from 2013. The port of Savannah, GA was the fourth-largest U.S. port in 2014. The Atlantic port increased in imports by 17 percent from 2013, the largest gain out of the top 10 ports. See the table below for total imports in 2014 vs. 2013 for the top 10 U.S. ports.

U.S. Port 2014 TEUs 2013 TEUs % Change
Los Angeles, CA 4,272,493 3,968,200 8%
Long Beach, CA 3,537,860 3,456,436 2%
Newark/ New York 2,972,464 2,788,246 7%
Savannah, GA 1,355,928 1,157,338 17%
Norfolk, VA 981,518 902,258 9%
Tacoma, WA 821,880 724,163 13%
Oakland, CA 820,979 780,682 5%
Houston, TX 768,865 682,108 13%
Charleston, SC 748,511 658,049 14%
Seattle, WA 457,904 572,165 -20%
All Others 2,693,440 2,571,152 5%
TOTAL 19,431,844 18,260,797 6%

Top NVOCCs in 2014
The top NVOCCs (non-vessel operating common carrier) for 2014 include Expeditors International of Washington (EXDO), Blue Anchor Line (BANQ), and Christal Lines (CHSL). Christal Lines had the greatest surge in TEU volume from 2013 with a 76 percent increase. The rapid rise in volume coincides with its recent merger with Phoenix International last year. See the below table for the top NVOs in 2014 vs. 2013.

NVOCC Name 2014 TEUs 2013 TEUs % Change
EXDO - Expeditors International of Washington 420,042 388,386 8%
BANQ - Blue Anchor America Line 393,308 339,716 16%
CHSL - Christal Lines 317,092 180,452 76%
AMAW - Apex Shipping Co 250,561 228,898 9%
OERT - Orient Express Container Co 216,250 197,345 10%
DMAL - Danmar Lines Ltd 193,602 175,945 10%
SHKK - Schenkerocean Limited 168,642 165,362 2%
HNLT - Honour Lane Shipping Ltd 144,859 119,525 21%
TOPO - Topocean Consolidation Service 131,645 120,596 9%
HYSL - Hecny Shipping Limited 123,417 110,947 11%
All Others 4,501,173 4,176,822 8%
TOTAL 6,860,592 6,203,993 11%

Top Countries of Origin in 2014
It’s no surprise that the most U.S. imports come from China, which has continued to grow in 2014. U.S. imports from China rose 6 percent from 2013, nearly half a million TEUs, with a total of over 9 million TEUs last year. Vietnam has also made some large leaps in exports to the United States. Although it’s far behind China's volume, the country increased its TEUs to the U.S. by 15 percent from 2013 to 2014. The table below shows the top 10 countries the United States imports from via ocean shipments.

Country of Origin 2014 TEUs 2013 TEUs % Change
China 9,045,897 8,505,989 6%
Vietnam 734,789 639,436 15%
South Korea 694,100 667,799 4%
Japan 615,921 600,032 3%
Germany 570,051 537,309 6%
Taiwan 546,218 510,423 7%
India 472,661 413,144 14%
Hong Kong 371,374 399,845 -7%
Italy 370,806 348,530 6%
Thailand 350,911 336,064 4%
All Others 5,659,118 5,302,227 6%
TOTAL 19,431,844 18,260,797 6%

To search Zepol's import and export data free, CLICK HERE.

The Data in this Blog:
The data in the blog derives from Zepol's database of U.S. ocean import documents, TradeIQ Import. The TEU numbers do not include fright labeled as 'freight remaining on board' (shipments that do not stay in the United States but continue on to another destination) and do not include empty containers.

United States and Europe Trade Report | Free Download

US EU Report Download ButtonZepol has published its ‘United States and Europe Trade Report,’ which covers the imports and exports between these giant-trade behemoths. The demand for this report has been high due to recent events like the negotiations for a transatlantic trade agreement and, not to forget, the ever-increasing tensions with Russia. The thought-provoking figures show broad-level statistics but also delve deep into U.S. trade with Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and Ukraine.

“With so much going on politically between the United States and Europe, the contents of this report couldn’t be more timely,” explains Zepol’s CEO Paul Rasmussen. “It’s amazing what an immediate impact Russia’s sanctions had on U.S. food exports as well as the potential effects a free trade agreement could have on U.S. and EU trade.”

In the report, trade professionals will find import and export values, top U.S. and European trading companies, growing products, U.S. port trends, etc. The data also exposes the current state of trade between the United States and Ukraine. The stats hint at how the nation’s economy is doing after Russia’s recent occupation of Crimea.

Click Here for a free download of the ‘United States and Europe Trade Report’

The information in this report was derived from Zepol’s trade intelligence tools, TradeIQ Import and TradeView. Zepol’s online tools are subscription-based products that provide insights into companies importing and exporting in the United States. Zepol makes it easy to generate lists of U.S. importers and exporters, based on criteria, that fit your target market.

Select Multiple HS Codes in TradeIQ Import and New TradeView Reports

Zepol is happy to announce enhancements to two of our trade data tools. With the launch of phase two of the TradeIQ Import HS Code search, subscribers are able to search for multiple HS Codes simultaneously. An HS Code is a 6-digit code that identifies an imported product and determines the amount of duties owed. With the new HS Code search subscribers can:

  • View lists of HS Codes for importers and suppliers
  • Search for any combination of 2-, 4-, and 6-digit HS Codes in addition to product keywords
  • Narrow down a broad Product search by selecting an HS chapter
In TradeView, subscribers can download and schedule emailed reports for three new reporting options:
  • Detail: See total Records, Quantities, and more for each combination of 10-digit HTS Code and the other searchable fields
  • Market Share: See total measures and percentages of the whole for HTS Codes, Countries, U.S. Ports, and more
  • Period-over-Period Comparison: View how values, weights, and more have changed over the last month, quarter, year, or over the same time period last year
To see these enhancements in action, please view the short video demonstration below or Contact Us for more information.