Panjiva data shows 4 percent gain in U.S.-bound shipments from July to August
While the global economy remains firmly entrenched in a holding pattern, data from Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, showed a seasonal increase in the number of United States-bound waterborne shipments for the fourth time on the last five months.
Panjiva saw a 4 percent gain in U.S.-bound shipments from July to August, with shipments at 1,123,748. This was preceded by a 5 percent increase from June to July, 7 and 8 percent gains in April and May, respectively, and a 1 percent dip in June. Compared to August 2010, shipments were down 1.4 percent.
The number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. in August at 150, 714 was 2 percent better than July’s 147,759. This is flat compared to the 2 percent gain from June to July and in line with previous July to August changes of 1 percent in 2010 and 2009, respectively, and -1 percent in 2008 and 2007, respectively.
July at 149,759 represented a 2 percent increase from June. Panjiva said this is in line with a flat gain from the same period a year ago and 7 percent and 6 percent gains, respectively, in 2009 and 2008.
“All things considered, this [data] is pretty good news,” Panjiva CEO Josh Green told LM. “It is better than expected, given the various economic headwinds.
August has consistently been the peak month, which Green said suggests that declines over the next several months are likely.
Looking at last year, August was the peak month and followed by steady declines through February, down roughly a cumulative 25 percent over that period.
“What is interesting is that the August numbers are healthy given the economic headwinds, and these numbers reflect decisions that were made in the midst of economic turmoil,” said Green. “Despite that turmoil, it looks like retailers…were actually betting on a healthy holiday season. That is encouraging, but it also sets up a high-risk scenario, because if a the holiday season ends up not being so healthy, we are going to see a lot of people stuck with inventory and the plunge in early 2012 will be steep.”
Looking at shipment numbers on a year-to-date basis, Green said they are currently tracking about 1 percent behind 2010, which is decent considering how strong the first half of 2010 was due to heavy inventory rebuilding activity.