Top 100 US Importers

Top 100 US Importers

The Journal of Commerce’s annual Top 100 U.S. Importers and Exporters ranking begins with data from PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit, 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 U.S. ports by ocean vessels. The statistics don’t 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 are not included.

In tandem with last year’s ranking and considerable industry research, the list also identifies corporate subsidiaries and strives to reflect any changes in corporate status related to mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, formal name changes or bankruptcy filings. We also identify the location of corporate headquarters and, if the global headquarters is outside the US., the parent company. We indicate a website if one is available and the industry sector, adding a short note about each company, often recent news or an interesting fact.

These rankings represent our best approximation of the total international oceanborne shipments by these companies and their subsidiaries. We welcome your feedback.  

 

Special Coverage

Walmart remained atop the list of the 100 largest US importers by a wide margin in 2019, while Koch Industries retained to the No. 1 export spot.

News & Analysis

26 May 2020
Increased import tariffs on Chinese-made toys in 2019 caused some shippers to shift sourcing to Vietnam, accelerating the diversion of those cargoes from Los Angeles and Long Beach to ports on the East and Gulf coasts.
30 Nov 2016
Next-day shipping isn't just for online retailers. The parts division of $19 billion heavy truck maker PACCAR designed its latest distribution center to speed delivery of aftermarket components to customers.
08 Sep 2016
The vice president of international logistics at retailer Target, Joshua Dolan, will lead a coalition dedicated to increasing supply chain efficiency.
05 Jul 2016
Slide show: Growth among the leaders on the JOC's Top 100 Importers in 2015 rankings involved tenacity and perseverance in building scale with global agility.
22 Jun 2016
For those companies ranked in the JOC’s Top 100 U.S. Importers in 2015, growth was driven by more than mergers and acquisitions. 
warehouse
22 May 2016
As the July–October peak shipping season nears, excess retail stock could act as a drag on containerized imports.
20 May 2016
Fulfilling orders from supplier warehouses are likely to shift freight patterns and increase home-delivery demand.
18 Apr 2016
U.S. retail sales may have dropped in March, but demand for toys, especially those related to Disney’s hit movie Frozen, created a surge in containerized toy imports and boosted sales for Hasbro.
21 Nov 2015
The National Automobile Dealers Association raised its forecast for 2016 U.S. car and light truck sales to 17.7 million units, a record high that will drive automotive freight and logistics demand.
20 Aug 2015
An empty shelf in a big box store may be a retail logistics manager’s worst nightmare, but it’s not the only one. Retailers are rethinking inventory management and often carrying more inventory as they expand online sales and develop new delivery strategies.
13 Jul 2015
Discount retailer Dollar Tree is building a $104.4 million distribution center in 'upstate' South Carolina, near the Greer Inland Port and the I-85 corridor, expanding its Southeastern logistics footprint.
Port of Charleston container yard
10 Jun 2015
Retailers and their suppliers dominated the JOC’s Top 100 U.S. Importers rankings once again in 2014. Here’s a quick look at the companies making up the Top 10 importers in U.S. foreign trade via ocean container transport.
Wal-Mart store in Florida
28 May 2015
The Journal of Commerce's annual Top 100 U.S. Importers and Exporters ranking begins with data from PIERS, a sister product of the JOC within IHS Maritime & Trade, and is enhanced by information gathered from other industry sources. Wal-Mart Stores was the leading U.S. importer in 2014.
19 Nov 2014
Major U.S. retailers don't expect U.S. West Coast port congestion to hamper getting Black Friday products on the shelves, but they’re far less confident on their ability to keep stores stocked through the entire holiday season.
12 Sep 2014
Weak global demand is hurting U.S. containerized exports, while a reviving U.S. economy is aiding imports. A larger long-term trade imbalance is the likely result, Cass says.
03 Sep 2014
In a deal that could have implications for refrigerated shippers and warehouse operators across the U.S., Costco agreed to pay $335,000 in penalties and spend as much as $2 million over the next few years to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its warehouse stores.
Food bank, Wal-Mart, truck and operation
04 Aug 2014
As the world's largest corporation, Wal-Mart holds hefty leverage over its vendors. Its next mission is to eliminate waste within its massive system, even on food, and vendors are taking note.
31 Jul 2014
Rick Gabrielson, senior manager for import transportation at Target Corp., has been named vice president of transportation at Lowe’s Cos.
28 May 2014
Some of the fastest-climbing companies on the JOC’s Top 100 Importers and Exporters rankings share a common trait: They either partner with or are part of a conglomerate that allows them to create synergies of scale.
23 May 2014
The Journal of Commerce’s annual Top 100 U.S. Importers and Exporters ranking begins with data from PIERS, the data division of JOC Group, and is enhanced by information gathered from other industry sources. The figures are expressed in 20-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs, the most common standard measurement of containerized ocean shipping. One standard 40-foot ocean container equals two TEUs.
A Home Depot fulfillment center
07 Mar 2014
It begins with a leaky faucet, or perhaps a broken piece of crown molding, or a washing machine, or ceiling fan. Something needs to be fixed, replaced, improved or installed — and the right tools are required to do it. That specific need generates the demand that sets the supply chain in motion at The Home Depot, and increasingly that demand first appears as an online order placed through the retailer’s website.
 Thomas Lorenzo, import ocean logistics manager, Lowe’s, speaking at the JOC’s TPM conference on March 5.
06 Mar 2014
The home-improvement retailer Lowe’s is reducing its equipment costs and avoiding the chassis shortages that are plaguing cargo interests at a number of U.S. ports by leasing a dedicated fleet of chassis in its South Atlantic operations.
Wal-Mart produce
24 Jul 2013
Wal-Mart executives want people to know they are increasing the food safety requirements of their suppliers, are working to verify the safety of imported foods and increasing standards in foreign stores as well.
17 Jun 2013
U.S. containerized exports could exceed imports during certain months as soon as 2016 and on an annual basis by 2020, Walter Kemmsies, chief economist at Moffatt & Nichol, told the annual meeting of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition.
29 May 2013
After years of consumer retrenchment, especially on big-ticket purchases, the improving U.S. housing market is fueling demand for household appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioners, ovens, stoves and washing machines.
Railyard in Hamburg, Germany
29 May 2013
When the European Shippers’ Council celebrates its 50th anniversary in June, carriers in the air and at sea undoubtedly will be reminded of two of the ESC’s biggest victories: its role in persuading European Commission antitrust hawks to outlaw liner shipping conferences, and forcing UPS to pull its $7 billion takeover of TNT Express.
Worker at China apparel factory
28 May 2013
For all the talk about near-sourcing to Central America or the shift in production to Vietnam, China remains the dominant supplier of U.S. apparel imports. In fact, China’s share of the U.S. apparel import market is growing far faster than overall U.S. apparel imports.
27 May 2013
Toys classified as vintage and classic are all the rage this year, according to the Toy Industry Association.
Part of JOC's Top 100 Importers rankings
24 May 2013
Top 100 importers in 2012: U.S. foreign trade via ocean container transport.
Sears storefront at mall
24 May 2013
Like a gardener pruning a rosebush, Sears Holdings continuously prunes and reshapes its supply chain to reduce the cost of sourcing and cut the time it takes to get products into its stores. It’s all part of the $42 billion retailer’s move toward a just-in-time supply chain.
stacked containers
24 May 2013
One step forward, a half-step backward. That’s expected to be the story of the U.S. economy, and containerized imports and exports, through the rest of 2013.

Commentary

Executive Editor Chris Brooks discusses what shippers are seeing, as revealed in recent surveys.