Mainland China accounted for 10.9 million 20-foot-equivalent units, or 36.4% of the nearly 30 million TEUs in U.S. containerized trade in 2012. Volume to and from China was up 2.6% year-over-year and 8% above pre-recession 2008. That compares to 1.5% growth year-over-year in overall U.S. laden container trade and 3.5% growth over the pre-recession year of 2008.
Following mainland China and rounding out the top five U.S. trading partners by market share were Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. All told, the Top 5 U.S. Trading Partners accounted for 52.2% of the nearly 30 million TEUs in U.S. containerized trade in 2012. That represents growth of 0.7% year-over-year and is 3.6% above 2008.
The only Top 30 U.S. trading partner posting double-digit year-over-year growth in 2012 was 22nd-ranked Costa Rica, at 10%. The 23rd-ranked United Arab Emirates gained 9.7% while eighth-ranked Vietnam increased 7.1%. By contrast, 10 of the Top 30 declined year-over-year, led by fifth-ranked Hong Kong’s 11.6 decline in U.S. containerized trade percent and followed by No. 29 Singapore, down 9.6% from 2011.
The U.A.E. led the way in comparisons vs. 2008, growing 53.8% over the four years. followed by Vietnam at 33.2% and seventh-ranked India, which surged 32.6%. In contrast, 12 of the Top 30 U.S. trading partners declined in 2012 from their 2008 volumes, led by Hong Kong, whose U.S. containerized trade fell 13.8%. No. 14 Thailand experienced an 11% decline and 19th-ranked Malaysia saw its U.S. trade slip 10.2% from 2008.
Altogether, the JOC Top 30 U.S. trading partners accounted for 86.5% — or 25.9 million TEUs — of the total U.S. containerized trade in 2012. That represented a year-over-year gain of 1.4% for the Top 30 and was up 3.9% from 2008.