Zepol’s data shows that U.S. ocean imports increased 6 percent in 2014 from 2013. Total TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) reached 19.4 million, their highest volume ever. U.S. imports were over 1 million TEUs more than 2013, which reached 18.3 million. The graphs below show just how much growth was seen in 2014.

US imports 2014 vs 2013 graph
(U.S. Monthly Ocean Imports in 2013 vs. 2014 by TEUs)

us imports annual teus 2003 to 2014 graph
(U.S. Ocean Imports from 2003 to 2014 by TEUs)

Top U.S. Ports in 2014
The top U.S. port for 2014 was once again Los Angeles, which increased in import volume by 8 percent from 2013. The port of Savannah, GA was the fourth-largest U.S. port in 2014. The Atlantic port increased in imports by 17 percent from 2013, the largest gain out of the top 10 ports. See the table below for total imports in 2014 vs. 2013 for the top 10 U.S. ports.

U.S. Port2014 TEUs2013 TEUs% Change
Los Angeles, CA4,272,4933,968,2008%
Long Beach, CA3,537,8603,456,4362%
Newark/ New York2,972,4642,788,2467%
Savannah, GA1,355,9281,157,33817%
Norfolk, VA981,518902,2589%
Tacoma, WA821,880724,16313%
Oakland, CA820,979780,6825%
Houston, TX768,865682,10813%
Charleston, SC748,511658,04914%
Seattle, WA457,904572,165-20%
All Others2,693,4402,571,1525%

Top NVOCCs in 2014
The top NVOCCs (non-vessel operating common carrier) for 2014 include Expeditors International of Washington (EXDO), Blue Anchor Line (BANQ), and Christal Lines (CHSL). Christal Lines had the greatest surge in TEU volume from 2013 with a 76 percent increase. The rapid rise in volume coincides with its recent merger with Phoenix International last year. See the below table for the top NVOs in 2014 vs. 2013.

NVOCC Name2014 TEUs2013 TEUs% Change
EXDO - Expeditors International of Washington420,042388,3868%
BANQ - Blue Anchor America Line393,308339,71616%
CHSL - Christal Lines317,092180,45276%
AMAW - Apex Shipping Co250,561228,8989%
OERT - Orient Express Container Co216,250197,34510%
DMAL - Danmar Lines Ltd193,602175,94510%
SHKK - Schenkerocean Limited168,642165,3622%
HNLT - Honour Lane Shipping Ltd144,859119,52521%
TOPO - Topocean Consolidation Service131,645120,5969%
HYSL - Hecny Shipping Limited123,417110,94711%
All Others4,501,1734,176,8228%

Top Countries of Origin in 2014
It’s no surprise that the most U.S. imports come from China, which has continued to grow in 2014. U.S. imports from China rose 6 percent from 2013, nearly half a million TEUs, with a total of over 9 million TEUs last year. Vietnam has also made some large leaps in exports to the United States. Although it’s far behind China's volume, the country increased its TEUs to the U.S. by 15 percent from 2013 to 2014. The table below shows the top 10 countries the United States imports from via ocean shipments.

Country of Origin2014 TEUs2013 TEUs% Change
South Korea694,100667,7994%
Hong Kong371,374399,845-7%
All Others5,659,1185,302,2276%

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The Data in this Blog:
The data in the blog derives from Zepol's database of U.S. ocean import documents, TradeIQ Import. The TEU numbers do not include fright labeled as 'freight remaining on board' (shipments that do not stay in the United States but continue on to another destination) and do not include empty containers