The containers entries data represented in the next two sections and in figures 5 and 6 are different from the TEUs data presented earlier in the report. The entries data, from the Customs and Border Protection Service, count individual container units, while the TEUs data refer to twenty-foot equivalent units (i.e., one 20-foot equivalent container equals one TEU and one 40-foot container equals two TEUs). The challenge of handling large volumes of containerized imports from our trading partners can also be seen in the number of individual container entries processed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In 2005, there were over 11.4 million oceanborne container entries into the United States, up 91 percent from nearly 5.9 million in 2000 (figure 5).
After a slight decline in the number of oceanborne containers entering the United States in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the nation’s seaports have handled an increasing number of container units.