The number of twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers entering U.S. commerce rose in August by 8.21 percent over July figures, but declined by 2.79 percent from the same period in 2010, according to data released Sept. 7 by Zepol Corp., a Minneapolis-based consultancy.
The total number of shipments rose in August by 10 percent from July, but declined by 0.65 percent from August 2010, Zepol said.
The sequential increases are to be expected, as import traffic tends to pick up in August ahead of the peak holiday shopping season, Zepol said. Year to date, total TEUs are up 2.35 percent over the same period in 2010.
Imports from Asia hit a 2011 high in August, with shipments totaling 604,374—a figure surpassed only once, in August 2010. China accounted for more than half of the imports in August with 320,969 shipments, an 11-percent increase over July figures.
All U.S. ports posted increases in incoming TEUs for August over July, Zepol said. The Pacific ports handled 901,200 TEUs, the most since September 2010, the consultancy said. The mid-Atlantic ports recorded a 12-percent increase in TEUs, mainly attributable to the combined 20.10-percent increase at the ports of New York and New Jersey, according to Zepol data.
Zepol's data is derived from bills of lading entered into U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Manifest System. The information represents the number of house bills entered by importers of waterborne containerized goods. The data excludes shipments from empty containers as well as shipments labeled as freight remaining on board, and may contain other data anomalies.