U.S. containerized imports are modestly recovering according to advance figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company. Total U.S. containerized imports rose 1.4 percent in January 2013 compared to January 2012, to a total of 1.5 million 20-foot-equivalent units. Imports jumped 12.2 percent in January versus December. In all of 2012, overall U.S. containerized imports rose 2.6 percent.
Leading the gains were auto parts, up 10 percent versus January 2012; miscellaneous fruits, up 23 percent; footwear, up 6 percent; and sheets, towels and blankets, up 12 percent. The largest declines were in toys, down 7 percent; computers, down 6 percent; and miscellaneous sporting goods, down 6 percent, all compared to January 2012. Furniture imports were flat in the month.
Among source countries, shipments from Japan rose by 5,866 TEUs to 51,304 TEUs, up 14 percent year-over-year. Guatemala followed with a gain of 4,287 TEUs (a 25 percent year-over-year increase), while South Korea’s volume advanced by 4,048 TEUs (up 8 percent year-over-year). On the downside, Hong Kong and Germany declined by 12 percent (or 5,172 TEUs) and 5 percent (or 2,284 TEUs), respectively. Shipments from China totaled 725,380 TEUs in the month, up a meager 0.6 percent (or 4,000 TEUs).