Empty container moves handled at US ports “surged to a record high” in 2018, as the imbalance of US container imports over exports worsened said Alphaliner
Empty container moves handled at US ports “surged to a record high” in 2018, as the imbalance of US container imports over exports worsened, said Alphaliner.
This is despite the US administration implementing protectionist trade policies.
According to Alphaliner’s survey of the 10 largest container ports in the US, laden imports grew by 6.2% last year to reach 20.66M TEU while laden exports grew by only 2.1% to 11.06M TEU. The total number of empty containers handled at the 10 ports surveyed increased to a record of 10.89M TEU, growing by 5.6% in 2018 with the incidence of empty container handling reaching an all-time high of 25.6%.
The imbalance was especially striking in the second half of last year, at a ratio of more than 2-to-1, despite the imposition of various import tariffs by the US during 2018.
Alphaliner commented “Instead of curbing imports, the tariffs have had the opposite effect as importers front loaded cargo in anticipation of higher tariffs that were supposed to be imposed on Chinese imports, while demand for US containerised exports remained largely stagnant.”
The US and China have agreed to halt new trade tariffs following a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping after the G20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires.
The two agreed to a 90-day cessation period to allow for talks. As well as holding off from imposing new tariffs, the US has agreed to hold off increasing tariff rates on US$200Bn worth of Chinese products to 25% from 10%.