U.S. imports Q3 stats

u.s. imports q3 stats blog image

In the third quarter of 2016 from July to September, the United States’ GDP grew at its fastest rate in two years. The growth of an annual rate of 2.9% was caused by a boost in U.S. exports. Imports wise, the U.S. imported over 3 million ocean freight shipments of both goods and services from foreign countries in the past quarter alone.

u.s. imports q3 stats infographic

American imports totaled $2.309 trillion in 2015, which was a rise of 4.7% from 2011 but a fall of 1.6% from 2014. The United States’ top 10 imports accounted for 66.5% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries in 2015. Currently, U.S. imports represent 12.3% of total global imports.

Top 5 countries the U.S. imports from (Q3 shipments):

  • China – 1,097,154
  • Hong Kong – 181,012
  • Taiwan – 165,164
  • Germany – 127,283
  • South Korea – 116,094

Top U.S. imports (Q3 shipments):

  • Plastics – 111,229
  • Furniture – 96,083
  • Motorcars – 85,352
  • Apparel – 79,518
  • Toys & Games – 64,403

The port that gained the most traffic was Los Angeles, adding 51,400 TEUs at the expense of Long Beach. This was likely caused by Hanjin Shipping’s collapse, which affected shipping lines around the and still continues to do so months after its demise. The port of Long Beach under-performed for nearly the entire third quarter, with a 6% drop in volumes handled vs Los Angeles’ 16% growth. Two-thirds of the drops are caused empty containers and no shows. Some U.S. ports have been affected more than others. But U.S. imports have managed to stay afloat with over 3 million shipments in the 3rd quarter.

u.s. imports q3 stats cta image

Top 5 ports of imports in the U.S. (Q3 shipments):

  • Los Angeles, CA – 579,726
  • Newark, NJ – 522,535
  • Long Beach, CA – 462,113
  • Savannah, GA – 201,651
  • Tacoma, WA – 179,297

There are many factors to remember when referencing the import stats for the past quarter, two of them being very significant. The first being the hangover from Hanjin Shipping’s disruption. The second is the fact that consumers are becoming more confident with handling their own shipments. As the world’s third-largest exporter, after China and the European Union, the United States is the world’s largest importer and should continue to hold that rank.

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