Census Bureau Says BTB EDI Sales Lead E-Commerce

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Wholesale e-commerce sales reached $270 billion in 2001, a 12 percent increase from $241 billion in 2000, according to information recently made available by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Also, e-commerce accounted for 10 percent of wholesale sales in 2001, up from 8.8 percent in 2000, the Census Bureau said in its recently published "E-Stats 2001" report. "E-Stats 2002" is scheduled to publish in spring 2004.

As wholesalers' e-commerce sales grew in 2001, overall sales dropped 1 percent.

Three industry groups accounted for 64 percent of e-commerce wholesale sales, according to the report:

· Drug wholesalers accounted for 36 percent, or $97 billion.

· Automobile parts wholesalers accounted for 16 percent, or $44 billion.

· Commercial equipment and supplies wholesalers accounted for 11 percent, or $31 billion.

These three groups accounted for 62 percent of e-commerce wholesale sales the year before, the Census Bureau reported.

Merchant wholesalers generated 86 percent, or $233 billion, of their e-commerce sales via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) networks, the E-Stats report said.

Also, business-to-business sales accounted for 93 percent of e-commerce in 2001.

The value of U.S. manufacturing e-commerce shipments was $725 billion in 2001, down 4 percent from $756 billion in 2000, while total shipments were down 6 percent, the report said.

The computer and electronics industry accounted for most of the decline, as its e-commerce shipments dropped 6 percent, or $5 billion, and total shipments dropped 16 percent, or $81 billion, the report said.

Still, so-called e-shipments, or shipments resulting from orders processed through the Internet, intranets and EDI systems, accounted for 18.3 percent of all shipments from U.S. manufacturing plants. The transportation equipment industry led the way, accounting for 37 percent -- $264 billion - of total manufacturing e-shipments, according to the E-Stats report.

E-shipments also accounted for 44 percent of transportation equipment shipments, according to the report.

The transportation equipment industry accounts for 15 percent of all manufacturing shipments, the Census Bureau reported.

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