US Importers decrease the number of imports nearly five percent in 2008

Container traffic decreased 4.7% in 2008; however the most significant decline was felt in the 4th Quarter at 7.3%. Shipping traffic decreased every month except one when compared to 2007.

Total shipments for 2008 are the lowest since 2005 according to Zepol’s US Customs database. Container traffic was approximately 2% less than in 2006, but still 12%, 20%, and 36% greater than 2005, 2004, and 2003 respectively.

Zepol calculates shipping data from the number of shipments processed by US Customs and Border Protection’s Automated Manifest System (House Bills of Lading only). The shipments are waterborne container traffic; however some waterborne bulk shipments are included in the data. Below is a graph comparing 2008 and 2007.

US Customs Chart