High level of December U.S.-bound waterborne shipments finishes a strong 2018, says Panjiva

United States-bound waterborne shipments in December capped a record-breaking year for global trade, according to data issued this week by global trade intelligence firm Panjiva.

By ·

United States-bound waterborne shipments in December capped a record-breaking year for global trade, according to data issued this week by global trade intelligence firm Panjiva.

December shipments, at 1,053,009, marked an 8.8% annual increase, and full-year 2018 shipments, at 12,346,524, were up 6.4% annually, setting single-month and full-year records in the process.

Panjiva Research Director Chris Rogers wrote in the report that a key driver for the strong run-up in volume to end the year was attributed to how a long-awaited slowdown in U.S. imports failed to materialize in December. And he added that containerized freight in December was up 13.4% annually, while rising 7.7% for all of 2018.

What’s more, the report explained that December’s shipment surge was largely paced by imports from China, which saw a 14.6% annual gain and was up compared to an average growth rate of 10% over September, October, and November, and “defied expectations of a slowdown.” This was due, to a significant degree, to an early December agreement between the U.S. and China to hold off on an increase in U.S. shipments that was initially expected to take effect on December 1. U.S.-bound waterborne shipments from the EU were up 0.7% annually in December, with Japan shipments up 1.4%, and South Korea and India up 20.1% and 19.7%, respectively.

December shipment growth varied, based on commodity. Furniture imports were up 23.4% annually, and apparel (up 7.1%) and toys (up 6.7%) grew, even though not being subject to tariffs, and representing ongoing strength in consumer spending, the report said.  Growth was slower for industrial supply chains, with automotive down 1.2%. Chemicals were up 2.3%, and iron and steel up 9.3%, despite 25% tariffs being imposed in March and June.

“I was really surprised by how strong December was,” Rogers said in an interview. “In hindsight, the whole kind of ‘pause’ in the tariff wars took place early in the month, at which point all U.S.-inbound goods were already on the water. This put pressure on the ports, in terms of congestion, which was apparent at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, with warehouses likely very full as well. In theory, there should be a lot less stuff coming into ports in January and February, but, on the other hand, the Lunar New Year is earlier than normal and it is far from a given that the U.S. and China will reach an agreement on a new trade deal by March 1.” 

But, given the ongoing Federal Government shutdown, Rogers said could provide an impetus for a new trade deal to be reached.

The reason for this, he said, is that President Trump needs a political “win,” striking some sort of deal, even, if only a cursory one, is a better alternative than simply putting higher tariffs in place.

But the U.S.-China dynamic is not the sole story, when it comes to shipment data, said Rogers, explaining that the collective state of the global economy, at the moment, comes with a fair amount of concerns, as evidenced by the aforementioned low shipment volumes coming out of the EU and Japan in December.

Regarding its 2019 outlook, Panjiva said that the beginning of the year “faces strong forces in both the negative and positive directions,” as, on the negative side, industrial inventories are likely replete following the strong end to imports of 2018, coupled with tariff implementation delay in early December, maybe having led to a scaling back in shipments. On the positive side, it said that even with tariff uncertainty until March and in tandem with the timing of the Lunar New Year, industrial and consumer sentiment are still strong despite recent declines.

“It really is difficult to say what may happen in the first quarter, as it is may be somewhat volatile, but it seems, in the second quarter, once we get past these U.S.-China negotiations, could see things slow down more,” said Rogers.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Global Trade · Ocean Cargo · Panjiva · tariffs · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Practical advice for integrating new technology
As one of the world’s leading location platforms, HERE shares insights and tips to streamline the supply chain technology integration across the whole organization.
Download Today!
From the August 2019 Logistics Management Magazine
The staff of Logistics Management (LM) is honored to present the logistics and transportation community with the results of our 36th Annual Quest for Quality Survey
Ocean: Protecting margins in a soft market
Warehouse Voice Technology Speaks for Itself
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Creating the ROI for Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solutions
This webinar will reveal how manufacturers, retailers, and 3PLs can utilize their own data to identify and demonstrate ROI for multi-carrier parcel shipping by leveraging state-of-the art business intelligence to increase performance.
Register Today!
36th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners in the spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics (3PL) providers and U.S. ports have reached the pinnacle of...
State of Logistics in 2019: What’s next?
Tight capacity, high rates, rapid e-commerce growth and a booming economy fueled an 11.45% rise in...

Got labor? How supply chain companies are recruiting talent during a labor crunch
How are companies faring in the race to recruit and train high-level supply chain talent in a market...
35th Annual Salary Survey: Compensation matters more than ever
While job satisfaction remains the primary reason for today’s logistics managers to stay with one...

У нашей фирмы популярный веб сайт , он рассказывает про Нандролон Деканоат купить www.danabol-in.com