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


U.S. Imports Impacted by West-Coast Port Issues

Top US Ports Change in 2015 Graph
Zepol's data shows that total U.S. container imports are down over 5 percent this year, compared to January and February of 2014. Nearly the entire decline in imports was attributed to West Coast ports. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which make up a combined 40 percent of U.S. container imports, declined by 19 and 20 percent so far in 2015. East Coast ports have reaped the benefit, especially the port of New York/Newark, which increased container imports by 8 percent this year.

“The decline along the West Coast has led to diverted shipments and a surplus in volume across the Atlantic and Gulf Coast,” confirms Zepol’s CEO and trade data expert Paul Rasmussen. “Due to these events, it’s the first time in over 11 years the port of New York/Newark has passed Long Beach as the second-largest port in the United States.”

Total U.S. imports by TEUs (twenty-foot containers) dropped from 2.93 million in January through February of 2014 to 2.78 million in 2015. Combined, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have declined by over 230,000 TEUs compared to the first two months of 2014.

Most East Coast and Gulf-Coast ports haven’t seen decay, but growth in containers. The port of New York/Newark grew by over 34,000 TEUs. The port of Savannah increased 20 percent with an increase of over 40,000 TEUs and Houston rose 29 percent, by nearly 31,000 TEUs.

Below is a table of the top 20 ports in 2015 compared with 2014 (Jan-Feb only)

US Port TEUs
(Jan-Feb 2015)
TEUs
(Jan-Feb 2014)
% Change
Los Angeles, CA 521,579 640,743 -19%
New York/Newark 466,799 432,789 8%
Long Beach, CA 444,198 556,247 -20%
Savannah, GA 239,611 199,134 20%
Norfolk, VA 148,626 143,161 4%
Houston, TX 138,253 107,296 29%
Charleston, SC 122,299 107,601 14%
Tacoma, WA 102,613 118,405 -13%
Oakland, CA 93,236 127,948 -27%
Seattle, WA 87,706 79,798 10%
Miami, FL 63,109 54,575 16%
Port Everglades, FL 60,696 61,494 -1%
Baltimore, MD 49,544 48,837 1%
Philadelphia, PA 36,349 26,488 37%
Jacksonville, FL 25,223 28,034 -10%
Wilmington, DE 24,384 28,229 -14%
San Juan, PR 24,154 22,559 7%
New Orleans, LA 18,553 12,251 51%
Wilmington, NC 16,744 15,943 5%
Boston, MA 16,185 15,531 4%
All Others 83,168 99,635 -17%
TOTAL 2,783,029 2,926,697 -5%


Data Note: The data in this report does not include empty containers, or shipments labeled as ‘freight remaining on board,’ and may contain other data anomalies.

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Top 10 U.S. Imports in 2014

U.S. imports increased 3 percent from 2013 to 2014 and totaled over $2.3 trillion. The top products imported for the year include crude oil, passenger cars, TVs and radios, and pharmaceuticals. Oil has remained the top product imported, although U.S. imports of crude oil were down over 10 percent in 2014. Passenger car imports increased 1 percent from last year and foreign pharmaceuticals increased over 9 percent. View all the top 10 imports in the 2 tables below.

Zepol has arranged the top 10 imports in 2014 by the following product classification systems:

  • HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule)
  • NAICS (North American Industry Classification System)
  • SITC (Standard International Trade Classification)
  • End-Use (Commodity category developed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis)
The top 10 U.S. imports by total value for 2014 by HTS code and NAICS code.

Top 10 HTS Codes
Total Value
 
Top 10 NAICS Codes
Total Value
1 Petroleum Oils - 2709.00 $246,970,309,200   Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas - 211111 $257,403,003,846
2 Passenger Motor Vehicles - 8703.23 $83,877,636,834   Automobiles - 336111 $152,718,345,087
3 Passenger Motor Vehicles - 8703.24 $60,188,834,864   Radio and Television Broadcasting Equipment - 334220 $104,152,026,677
4 Imports of Articles Exported and Returned - 9801.00 $55,778,144,525   Petroleum Refinery Products - 324110 $81,636,535,282
5 Telephones for Cellular Networks - 8517.12 $53,001,623,809   Pharmaceutical Preparations - 325412 $59,494,499,150
6 Petroleum Oils - 2710.19 $48,833,922,891   Goods Returned to Canada (exports) Goods Returned Re-Imported (imports) - 980000 $59,313,459,738
7 Portable Digtl Data Processing Machines - 8471.30 $41,972,905,094   Electronic Computers - 334111 $50,779,917,165
8 Medicaments - 3004.90 $39,663,624,067   Women's, Infants, Apparel - 315240 $45,597,716,712
9 Machines for Transmission of Voice - 8517.62 $33,488,670,610   Iron & Steel - 331110 $42,978,580,547
10 Light Oils & Preparations - 2710.12 $27,632,406,108   Semiconductors & Related Devices - 334413 $40,570,472,203


The top 10 U.S. imports by total value for 2014 by End-Use and SITC code.

Top 10 End-Use Products
Total Value
 
Top 10 SITC Codes
Total Value
1 Crude Oil - 10000 $246,409,332,120   Petroleum Oils - 33300 $246,970,309,200
2 Passenger cars, new & used - 3000 $153,455,547,386   Motor Vehicles - 78120 $153,991,178,982
3 Other parts and accessories - 30230 $100,453,025,342   Petroleum Oils - 33460 $77,024,746,943
4 Household Goods - 41050 $95,943,441,710   Special Transactions & Commodities - 93100 $60,631,101,522
5 Pharmaceutical Preparations - 40100 $92,024,502,998   Telephone Sets - 76411 $54,395,248,374
6 Computers - 21300 $63,694,898,348   Digtl Data Processing Machines - 75220 $41,972,905,094
7 Telecommunications Equipment - 21400 $58,685,579,379   Medicaments - 54293 $39,663,624,067
8 Computer Accessories - 21301 $57,918,674,557   Apparatus for Voice Transmission - 76412 $35,488,926,778
9 U.S. Goods Returned & Reimported - 50020 $55,779,259,530   Car Parts & Accessories - 78439 $30,406,964,328
10 Industrial Machines - 21180 $53,753,538,819   Diamonds - 66729 $24,051,222,004


About the Data in this Blog:
The data in the blog derives from Zepol's database of U.S. Census imports and exports, TradeView. The values and products are ranked by total value (USD).

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Pacific Ports Freeze in January | The Struggle is Real

Pacific West Coast Ports Imports 2015
U.S. ports on the West Coast are struggling. Extreme freight backups have created delivery failures, diverted shipments, and angry supply chain departments. Though, the reason why dozens of stagnant ships continue to sit at these ports is blamed on a number of factors. Speculations include a rapid increase in cargo volume and out-of-date equipment that can’t handle the new larger vessel capacities. Other fingers point at labor disputes between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). Poor management and planning have even been stated as the issue. Either way, the slowdown is real.

But how much have these delays actually affected imports? In general, U.S. imports this January were down 12 percent from last year but Pacific ports took a much bigger hit. The average decline in imports for the West Coast was over 29 percent and the two largest ports in the country plummeted. The port of Los Angeles dropped in imports by 26 percent and the port of Long Beach had the greatest slump of over 35 percent. January 2015 imports were LA’s and Long Beach’s lowest monthly volumes since March of 2013.

The port of Oakland also had its smallest monthly volume in over five years. The port’s total TEU imports (twenty-foot equivalent units) were just over 50,000, but at this time last year its volume was around 70,000, a decrease of 28 percent.

Although the West Coast has fallen, some East Coast and Gulf Coast ports have risen above this madness, potentially benefiting from diverted shipments. The port of Houston posted a surge in imports from last January by over 26 percent and the port of Savannah increased imports by 24 percent. Not to forget the largest East Coast port, New York/Newark, which also increased in January by 6 percent.

Below is the top 5 West Coast ports and their TEUs in January 2015 compared to 2014.

U.S. Port 2015 Jan TEUs 2014 Jan TEUs % Change
Los Angeles, CA 262,467.74 356,900.54 -26%
Long Beach, CA 216,895.21 333,150.03 -35%
Tacoma, WA 52,604.97 68,733.52 -23%
Oakland, CA 50,505.94 70,489.25 -28%
Seattle, WA 38,036.69 45,079.56 -16%
All Others 15,154.62 18,932.21 -20%
TOTAL 635,665.18 893,285.10 -29%

About 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 freight 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.


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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!

Love,
Zepol

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.