Panjiva data shows a sequential slowdown in global trade

On the heels of two strong months of global trade activity, data released by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, showed a bit of a slowdown from April to May.

By ·

On the heels of two strong months of global trade activity, data released by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, showed a bit of a slowdown from April to May.

U.S.-bound waterborne shipments, which were up 14 and 11 percent, respectively, in the previous two months, dipped 2 percent from April to May at 1,061,192. May shipments were up 2 percent annually. 

Panjva reported a 0.4 percent increase in the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S., with May coming in at 148,861. On an annual basis, the number of manufacturers shipping to the U.S. inched up 1 percent. May’s number was in line with recent months, including April’s 148,246, March’s 136,286 and January and February at 145,520 and 128,244, respectively.

“It would have been great to see the growth streak continue,“said Panjiva CEO Josh Green in an interview. “But this data is coming off of a couple of really strong months, and the basis for comparison is quite high, and we are still running ahead of where we were last year. The news is certainly not as good as we would like, but I don’t see anything in the data that suggests we are heading for a significant slowdown.”

Looking ahead, Green said it is possible that the next couple of months could be flat in terms of growth and then start to ramp up again in August, which could likely end up being the peak month of the year for global trade activity. What is happening now-with this current batch of data-could be viewed as a “dip” prior to the build-up to the holiday season, he said.

If declines or flat trade numbers persist into the summer months, Green said that may be viewed as a sign that retailers are pessimistic about the holiday season. Green noted that as things currenty stand, typical seasonal trade patterns are intact heading into the second half of the year.

Looking at April to May gains in recent years, the rate of growth for the same time period this year was down. For April to May U.S.-bound shipments, 2011 was up 8 percent, 2010 was up 12 percent, and 2009 and 2008 were up 2 and 3 percent, respectively.  And for manufacturers, 2011 was up 6 percent, 2010 was up 9 percent, and 2009 and 2008 were up 2 and 3 percent, respectively.

“When looking at sequential comparisons, you need to be a little careful,” said Green. “One strong month makes the next month look weak in comparison. April was an extraordinarily strong month and now in comparison May does not look so good, but May 2012 is better than May 2011 and that closely matches how things are economically, with things being a little better this year.”


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 Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Global Trade · Panjiva · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Download the full 2016 Modern Materials Handling Salary Survey
How does your earning power match up with your peers across the material handling industry? Materials Handling salary survey, Warehouse manager salary survey, Warehouse Salary Research
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to the line. The result is a more consistent, efficient and safer operation.
Optimizing home delivery: It takes more than planning
9th Annual Salary Survey: Success and Satisfaction Continue to Reign
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Systems Report: Whirpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...
Modern Materials Handling’s 2017 Casebook Collection
The 2017 Casebook features more than 35 case studies that put the spotlight on successful innovation...

Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...
Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...