JOC Top 100 US importer and exporter rankings 2020

JOC Top 100 US importer and exporter rankings 2020

The top five US importers were responsible for a collective 2.72 million TEU last year, accounting for 11 percent of total US imports. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

US imports of 24.5 million TEU in 2020 were up 2.4 percent from the year prior, a small gain on the surface, but a remarkable achievement when considering how global trade came to a near halt in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring. That imports showed any gain at all is a testament to the historic surge that began in the second half of 2020 and continues today.

That import surge begot the supply chain chaos that manifested itself in record-low vessel schedule reliability, port congestion, and equipment shortages. Those woes provided an additional headwind for US exports, which fell 7.5 percent last year to 12 million TEU, according to data from PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit. That large drop in exports pushed overall US container trade to a year-on-year decline of 1.1 percent, to 36.50 million TEU.

The top five US importers by volume remained unchanged in 2020, with Walmart again holding the number-one spot with 930,000 TEU, up 4 percent from the year prior. Rounding out the top five were Target, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ashley Furniture. The top five imported a collective 2.72 million TEU last year, up from 2.47 million in 2019 and accounting for 11 percent of total US imports in 2020.

Koch Industries retained its place atop the list of exporters, with its 283,286 TEU down marginally from 2019. International Paper’s export volume slipped 5 percent to 218,391 TEU, but the company remained in the second spot among US exporters last year.

JOC.com’s annual list of Top 100 US importer and exporter rankings begins with data from PIERS and is enhanced by information gathered from other industry sources.

The figures are expressed in TEU, the most common measurement of containerized ocean shipping. One standard 40 foot ocean container equals two TEU. These lists are restricted to shippers — beneficial owners of containerized cargo that entered or exited US ports by ocean vessel during 2020 — and do not include shippers associations, carriers, non-vessel operating common carriers, forwarders or brokers, third-party logistics providers, banks, or “to-order” negotiable bills of lading, or data falling under privacy strictures. International import and export cargoes moving into and out of the US via air, rail, or truck also are not included. The JOC analysis accounts for changes in ownership structures and impacts on volume by tallying volume at subsidiary companies to the best of our ability. We also rely on self-reported numbers backed by documentation from companies that fall under privacy strictures.

Rankings compiled by Marcin Lejk, data analyst at IHS Markit, and updated on July 1 based on new data from importers and exporters.

2021 JOC Top 100 Importers

US foreign trade via ocean container transport.
RankJOC Top 100 ImportersTEU in 2020
SectorHeadquarters
1Walmart930,000RetailBentonville, Ark.
2Target650,000RetailMinneapolis, Minn.
3Home Depot520,130RetailAtlanta, Ga.
4Lowe's330,000RetailMooresville, N.C.
5Ashley Furniture296,000FurnitureArcadia, Wis.
6Dole Food235,780FoodstuffsThousand Oaks, Calif.
7Samsung America221,458ConglomerateRidgefield Park, N.J.
8Dollar Tree180,000FoodstuffsChesapeake, Va.
9Chiquita Brands International168,154FoodstuffsCharlotte, N.C.
10LG Group137,735ConglomerateEnglewood Cliffs, N.J.
11Nike122,000Footwear and Apparel sport equipmentBeaverton, Ore.
12IKEA International113,902Retail/Household GoodsConshohocken, Pa.
13GE Appliances, a Haier Company90,000Retail/Household GoodsLouisville, K.Y.
14Williams-Sonoma89,710RetailSan Francisco, Calif.
15Sumitomo83,000FoodstuffsPompano Beach, Fla.
16Heineken USA78,000BeveragesWhite Plains, N.Y.
17Newell Brands76,328ElectronicsHoboken, N.J.
18Olam International70,000Cotton/spices and vegetablesFresno, Calif.
19Rooms to Go70,000Retail furnitureSeffner, Fla.
20Dollar General69,046RetailGoodlettsville, Tenn.
21Red Bull North America67,756FoodstuffsSanta Monica, Calif.
22MS International67,119Countertops and flooringOrange, Calif.
23Ross Stores60,000RetailDublin, Calif.
24Bob’s Discount Furniture54,646Household goodsManchester, Conn.
25Electrolux51,270Electronics/householdCharlotte, N.C.; Stockholm
26Bissell Homecare50,000HouseholdGrand Rapids, Mich.
27Kohl's50,000RetailMenomonee, Wis.; Chesapeake, Va.
28Hyundai Mobis49,082Automotive goodsWest Point, Ga.; Montgomery, Ala.
29Fresh Del Monte Produce47,294FoodstuffsCoral Gables, Fla.
30Amazon 46,259RetailSeattle, Wash.
31Dorel Industries43,141ConglomerateFoxborough, Mass.
32Arauco Wood Products43,100Forest ProductsAtlanta, Ga.
33Toyota Tsusho America42,326Automotive goodsGeorgetown, Ky.
34Best Buy41,300RetailRichfield, Minn.
35Hankook Tire America39,693Automotive goodsWayne, N.J.
36Tractor Supply39,175RetailBrentwood, Tenn.
37Anheuser Busch InBev38,448FoodstuffsSt. Louis, Mo.
38Kubota Tractor35,682Heavy MachineryGrapevine, Texas
39Living Spaces Furniture34,311Retail furnitureLa Mirada, Calif.
40Adidas Group33,302Footwear and Apparel sport equipmentPortland, Ore.
41Bridgestone Tires30,951Automotive goodsNashville, Tenn.
42At Home Procurement30,411RetailPlano, Texas
43Mercedes Benz USA/Daimler Trucks30,107Automotive goodsAtlanta, Ga.
44VF Corp.30,001Apparel and footwearGreensboro, N.C.
45Hewlett-Packard29,600Computer TechnologyPalo Alto, Calif.
46Continental Tire29,513Automotive goodsFort Mill, S.C.
47Costco Wholesale28,831RetailIssaquah, Wash.
48PVH28,500ElectronicsNew York, N.Y.
49Nextracker28,479SolarFremont, Calif.
50E&E26,332Household goodsFremont, Calif
51Euromarket Designs25,330RetailNorthbrook, Ill.
52Shark Ninja22,500AppliancesNewton, Mass.
53Conair24,672ElectronicsEast Windsor, N.J.
54CMPC Maderas24,408Paper and Forest ProductsAtlanta, Ga.
55TTE Technology24,364ElectronicsCorona, Calif.
56General Electric24,251ConglomerateFairfield, Conn.
57Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits24,183FoodstuffsMiami, Fla.
58Mitsubishi Motors24,163Automotive goodsCypress, Calif.
59LKQ Corp.23,984Auto partsChicago, Ill.
60Under Armour22,802Footwear and Apparel sport equipmentBalitmore, Md.
61Goya Foods22,578FoodstuffsSecaucus, N.Y.
62John Deere22,329Mfg-EquipmentMoline, Ill.
63EGA America21,373Manufacturin, Metals & MineralCreve Coeur, Miss.
64Icon Health & Fitness21,069Mfg-consumer productsLogan, Utah
65Q Cells20,873SolarIrving, Calif.
66Caterpillar20,367Mfg-machineryPeoria, Ill.
67Mattel20,191ToysEl Segundo, Calif.
68Spectrum Brands20,045Mfg-consumer productsMadison, Wis.
69Starbucks20,036BeveragesSeattle, Wash.
70LONGi Solar19,603SolarSan Ramon, Calif.
71Gildan Activewear19,098Apparel and footwearCharleston, S.C.
72Keter North America19,094StorageAnderson, Ind.
73Toyo Tires19,020Automotive goodsCypress, Calif.
74American Honda Motor, Honda Trading America18,391Automotive goodsTorrance, Calif.; Marysville, Ohio
75Subaru18,292Automotive goodsCamden, N.J.
76Panasonic of North America18,190ElectronicsNew York, N.Y.
77Yokohama Tire17,989Automotive goodsFullerton, Calif.
78Trina Solar17,872SolarFremont, Calif.
79Yamaha Motor17,858Automotive goodsCypress, Calif.
80Raymour & Flanigan Furniture17,655Retail/Household GoodsLiverpool, N.Y.
81Liberty Procurement17,393RetailLiberty Avenue Union, N.J.
82Coaster of America17,069Household goodsSanta Fe Springs, Calif.
83Canadian Solar16,871SolarWalnut Creek, Calif.
84American Furniture Warehouse16,525FurnitureEnglewood, Colo.
85BJ's Wholesale16,231RetailWestborough, Mass.
86Brother International16,096ElectronicsBridgewater, N.Y.
87Fred Meyer16,063RetailPortland, Ore.
88Vestas American Wind Technology15,921Heavy MachineryEllsworth, Ill.
89Stanley Black & Decker15,855RetailNew Britain, Conn.
90Nissan North America/Nissan Trading15,810Automotive goodsFranklin, Tenn.; Farmington Hills, Mich.
91Element Electronics15,662ElectronicsWinnsboro, S.C.
92Enchante Accessories Inc15,620Mfg-consumer productsNew York, N.Y.
93QVC15,312RetailWest Chester, Penn.
94BMW of North America15,158Automotive goodsWoodcliff Lake, N.J. Spartansburg, S.C.
95Joann Fabric and Craft Stores15,058RetailHudson, Ohio
96L Brands15,000RetailColumbus, Ohio
97BSH Hausgeräte14,929Mfg-consumer productsIrving, Calif.
98Procter & Gamble14,370ConglomerateCincinnati, Ohio
99Badcock Home Furniture14,213Household goodsMulberry, Fla.
100Michaels Stores13,760RetailIrving, Texas

2021 JOC Top 100 Exporters

US foreign trade via ocean container transport.
RankJOC Top 100 ExportersTEU in 2020SectorHeadquarters
1Koch Industries283,286ConglomerateWichita, Kan.
2International Paper218,391Paper/packagingMemphis, Tenn.
3CellMark Group191,280DiversifiedNorwalk and Stamford, Conn.; Pearl River, N.Y.; San Rafael, Calif.
4DeLong156,314Animal Feed and GrainClinton, Wis.
5America Chung Nam153,347Paper and plastics recyclablesCity of Industry, Calif.
6Louis Dreyfus117,440CottonCordova, Tenn.
7International Forest Products109,600Packaging/paper products/pulp/forest products/recyclablesFoxborough, Mass.
8Winfibre97,677Paper/RecyclablesChino, Calif.
9Scoular93,000Animal Feed and GrainOmaha, Neb.
10BMW of North America74,741Automotive goodsWoodcliff Lake, N.J. Spartansburg, S.C.
11The Andersons69,500AgricultureMaumee, Ohio
12Cycle Link USA67,906Paper/recyclablesDiamond Bar, Calif.
13WestRock66,479Paper/packagingAtlanta, Ga.
14Olam International65,760Cotton/spices and vegetablesFresno, Calif.
15Ravago Group57,894Plastics, rubber, and chemicalsOrlando, Fla.
16Dow Chemical54,490ChemicalsMidland, Mich.
17Smithfield Foods53,830Food/refrigeratedSmithfield, Va.
18JBS USA53,608Refrigerated meats/poultryGreeley, Colo.
19Cargill53,374ConglomerateWayzata, Minn.
20Shintech52,147ChemicalsHouston, Texas
21Tyson Foods51,127Refrigerated meats/poultrySpringdale, Ark.
22Eastman Chemical50,965Chemicals/fibers/plasticsKingsport, Tenn.
23Domtar47,506Paper/forest productsFort Mill, S.C.; Montreal, Canada
24WM Recycle America47,480Diversified/recyclablesHouston, Texas
25Rayonier Advanced Materials45,800Chemicals/forest productsJacksonville, Fla.
26Sims Metal Management45,410Metals and electronics/recyclablesNew York, N.Y.
27Newport CH International44,705Paper/Metals /Plastics RecyclablesOrange, Calif.
28Archer Daniels Midland43,737AgricultureChicago, Ill.
29Vinmar International38,422Chemicals/PlasticsHouston, Texas
30Staple Cotton Cooperative Association37,413CottonGreenwood, Miss.
31Dupont34,000DiversifiedWilmington, Del.
32Gavilon32,850Animal Feed and GrainOmaha, Neb.
33AJC International32,407Food/refrigeratedAtlanta, Ga.
34Walmart32,231RetailBentonville, Ark.
35Al Dahra ACX32,148Animal Feed and GrainWilmington, Calif.
36Montachem31,959Plastics/ChemicalsFort Lauderdale, Fla.
37PriceSmart31,322Membership warehouse clubSan Francisco, Calif.
38Anderson Hay & Grain30,632Animal FeedEllensburg, Wash.
39Graphic Packaging Holding29,236Paper productsAtlanta, Ga.
40Rio Tinto Minerals28,810MineralsGreenwood Village, Colo.
41Vipa Group27,308Paper/RecyclablesBrea, Calif.
42Perdue25,841FoodSalisburgy, Md.
43Fornazor International25,808Animal FeedHillsdale, N.J.
44Mercedes Benz USA/Daimler Trucks25,664Automotive goodsAtlanta, Ga.
45Ekman Group24,166Paper/recyclablesGothenburg; Miami; Hong Kong
46CHS24,081Agriculture/energy/foodInver Grove Heights, Minn.
47Khanna Paper23,640Paper productsNorth Bergen, N.J.
48International Feed23,338Agricultural goodsExcelsior, Minn.
49Costco Wholesale23,220RetailIssaquah, Wash.
50Chevron Phillips Chemical22,718ChemicalsThe Woodlands, Texas
51Procter & Gamble22,250Mfg-Consumer GoodsCincinnati, Ohio
52Central National Gottesman Inc.22,075Paper productsPurchase, N.Y.
53POET Nutrition22,022Animal Feed and GrainSioux Falls, S.D.
54Imerys21,132MineralsRoswell, Ga.
55Potential Industries20,537Paper/recyclablesWilmington, Calif.
56Sigma Recycling19,385Paper/Metals /Plastics RecyclablesNorcross, Ga.
57Genesis Resource Enterprises19,382Paper/recyclablesSpringfield, N.J.
58Active Minerals International19,020MineralsSparks, Md.
59Dole Food18,400FoodstuffsThousand Oaks, Calif.
60Mitsui & Co.18,381ConglomerateNew York, N.Y.
61Stone Arch Commodities18,098Animal Feed and GrainMinneapolis, Minn.
62American Honda Motor, Honda Trading America18,097Automotive goodsTorrance, Calif.; Marysville, Ohio
63Prairie Creek Grain18,088Animal Feed and GrainElwood, Ill.
64KaMin18,059Minerals-clayMacon, Ga.
65Chemours17,750ChemicalsWilmington, Del.
66Ascend Performance Materials17,491Chemicals/fibers/plasticsHouston, Texas
67Michelin North America17,400Mfg-tire and rubberGreenville, S.C.
68BASF North America17,170Chemicals-diversifiedFlorham Park, N.J.
69Anheuser Busch InBev16,509FoodstuffsSt. Louis, Mo.
70Alco Iron and Metal16,270Metal/recyclablesSan Leandro, Calif.
71Sasol15,736ChemicalsHouston, Texas
72Fibre Trade15,240Paper/RecyclablesBurlingame, Calif.
73John Deere14,657Mfg-EquipmentMoline, Ill.
74Nippon Dynawave14,564Paper productsLongview, Wash.
75Caterpillar14,559Mfg-machineryPeoria, Ill.
76Toyota Tsusho America14,130Automotive goodsGeorgetown, Ky.
77Tesla13,981Automotive goodsPalo Alto, Calif.
78Lamb Weston13,873Food/refrigeratedEagle, Idaho
79America Metal Export13,585ChemicalsAlhambra, Calif.
80Advanced Steel Recovery13,562Metal/recyclablesFontana, Calif.
81Almarai 12,734Animal FeedRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
82Sappi Cloquet12,445Paper/pulp/paper productsCloquet, Minn.
83Army & Air Force Exchange Service12,316RetailDallas, Texas
84Mountaire Farms12,311Animal Feed and GrainLittle Rock, Ark.
85Seaboard Foods12,265Food/refrigeratedKansas City, Mo.
86Zen Trading11,868Animal Feed and GrainSan Francisco, Calif.
87Zen-Noh Grain11,491Animal Feed and GrainNew Orleans, La.
88Kimberly-Clark11,480Paper productsIrving, Texas
89World Food Programme11,220FoodWashington, D.C
90Home Depot10,876RetailAtlanta, Ga.
91National Beef10,737BeefKansas City, Mo.
92Canusa Hershman Recycling10,479Diversified/RecyclerBranford, Conn.
93Hakan Food USA10,162FoodBroadway, Va
94Nissan North America/Nissan Trading9,847Automotive goodsFranklin, Tenn.; Farmington Hills, Mich.
95Sonoco Products9,834FoodHartsville, S.C.
96Darigold9,785AgricultureSeattle, Wash.
97Perez Trading9,783Paper/packagingMiami, Fla.
98Allan Co.9,303Paper/RecyclablesBaldwin Park, Calif.
99Border Valley Trading9,267Animal FeedBrawley, Calif.
100OGO Fibers9,151Paper/RecyclablesRichmond Hill, Ontario; Summerville, S.C.