Weak November Volumes Indicate Drop In Overall Imports For 2019

Posted on Jan 13

Industry groups expect a drop in total container volume for 2019, pending final numbers from the ports for December.

The estimate of 21.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2019 of containerized goods imports represents a drop of 1% drop from a record-setting 2018, and is also a downwards revision of about 400,000 TEUs from the last published estimates for 2019.

An expected peak in November did not materialize, the 1.67 million TEUs imported came in well below the forecast of 1.95 million TEUs. December estimated were also revised downwards, from earlier 1.79 million TEU to now 1.7 million TEUs.

First-quarter 2020 volumes forecasts were revised down by 210,000 TEUs. 

The industry groups see the tariff on goods from China as the main reason for the retraction. Many US business still seem to have sufficient inventories due to front-loading early in 2019.