The data in this section, the following section, figure 21 and table 7 are from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP data on containers entering the country are expressed in actual individual container counts and differ from TEUs, which count one 20-foot container as one TEU and one 40-foot container as two TEUs. Because containers come in different lengths (for example, 20 feet, 40 feet, and 48 feet), the CBP figures on individual units differ from the TEU figures, which convert the tonnage of goods moved in the containers into TEUs.
In 2009, there were about 10 million oceanborne container entries into the United States, down slightly from a peak of 12 million in 2006, but still higher than in 2000 (figure 21). On a typical weekday in 2009, an average of nearly 38,000 individual maritime containers carrying imports entered the United States, up from about 23,000 in 2000. The challenge of handling large volumes of containerized imports from U.S. trading partners can also be seen in the number of individual container entries processed by CBP.