Total traffic for all imports entering all U.S. ports was up 12% in July 2012, compared to the same month in 2011, according to U.S. import market data compiled by trade intelligence firm Zepol Corp.

The biggest percentage gain in imports for the month came from autos and parts imports, which were up 20% over the same month a year ago. Mineral and stone imports were up 14% in July 2012, and food and beverage imports were up nearly 13% for the month. Overall, it was a good month for imports, at least compared to a year ago, as every category of imports tracked by Zepol were up percentage-wise from July 2011. In fact, July saw the highest volume of imports seen in one month since August 2010.

On a regional basis, the busiest ports in July were on the Gulf Coast, where import traffic was up 21% from a year ago. The only category to show a decline on the Gulf Coast was chemical imports, which were down -3.4%. Traffic was also up 16% at the East Coast ports, and up 9% at the West Coast ports. However, activity at ports identified by Zepol as “other U.S. ports” was down 2%, with chemicals (-34%) showing the biggest drop over a year ago.

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