Shipments slide in September

New York – September shipping data reinforced reports that retailers are keeping holiday inventories tight, as 5% fewer manufacturers shipped goods to the U.S. last month compared to August.

According to research firm Panjiva, there was also a 4% drop in the number of U.S. companies receiving waterborne shipments.

“These declines are the steepest we’ve seen since February, when global trade hit bottom, and would seem to confirm that American businesses have modest expectations for the coming holiday shopping season,” said ceo Josh Green.

On the upside, the month-over-month decline was within range of declines during the same period in 2008 (7%) and 2007 (7%), “suggesting seasonality may be a key driver of this year’s decline,” according to the company.

In another bright spot, the number of “significant” manufacturers on the Panjiva Watch List declined from 38% in August to 27% last year. The list flags manufacturers whose shipping volume has fallen by 50% or more during the most recent three months. “Significant” manufacturers are those who have shipped at least 10 orders to the U.S. in the past 12 months.


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