U.S. international containerized trade grew about 3.7 percent in 2011, a sharp slowdown from the double-digit from the year before, according to preliminary figures from PIERS.
Containerized imports, measured in 20-foot-equivalent units, grew only 2.2 percent in 2011 over the year before, and most of that growth came early in the year. Final figures through the third quarter showed import volume contracted 1.6 percent in the three months ending Sept. 30, led by a 3.7 percent decline in imports from Asia.
For the full year, preliminary estimates from the PIERS numbers show U.S. imports from Asia growing a scant 0.1 percent.
The 3.7 percent gain in overall U.S. international ocean container volume follows an 11.8 percent year-over-year increase in 2010. But that gain also followed a steep drop in 2009, including a 15.1 decline in import volume.