U.S. containerized import volume rose 1.5 percent year-on-year in December, according to trade intelligence firm Zepol Corp, with total inbound volume increasing just less than 1 percent for 2011 compared to 2010.
U.S. imports from China declined in 2011 by 0.8 percent, while imports from South Korea rose by 5.3 percent. Total 2011 imports from Asia dropped by 0.5 percent, while imports from Europe rose by 8.5 percent, partly due to a 12.2 percent increase from Germany and a 19.3 percent rise from Belgium.
Imports from South America grew last year by 3.6 percent, with moderate rises from Chile and Ecuador.
The top port for 2011, Los Angeles, saw a 1.8 percent increase in inbound volume, while the Port of Seattle posted a 14 percent drop from the previous year.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. had the biggest increase in U.S. inbound volume, at 11 percent. The largest U.S. inbound carrier, Maersk Line, saw volume decrease by 0.7 percent, while the third largest, APL, saw volume decline 7 percent.
Zepol uses data from bills of lading entered into the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Automated Manifest System.