June 3, 2014, 12:44 PM

U.S. manufacturers and wholesalers boost online sales

A Census Bureau report says manufacturers’ e-commerce shipments increased 10.5% in 2012.

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U.S. manufacturers shipped $3.0 trillion worth of orders placed electronically in 2012, up 10.5% from 2011, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau, which also released figures for wholesalers, includes in its figures orders placed through electronic data interchange systems as well as through e-commerce sites and e-mail. The Census Bureau didn’t break out figures for EDI and other forms of e-commerce. It also noted that payments for these shipments may or may not have been made online.

Total manufacturer shipments topped $5.8 trillion in 2012—which means nearly 52% of shipments stemmed from e-commerce—an increase from 2011, when e-commerce accounted for about 49% of those shipments.

The Census report, released late last month, also says that U.S. merchant wholesalers had total e-commerce sales of $1.8 trillion in 2012, up 5.5% from the year before. Total wholesaler sales reached $6.8 trillion in 2012, which means nearly 26.5% came from online. Total sales increased 5.0% from 2011, when e-commerce represented 26.3% of sales. Those sales figures include revenue stemming from manufacturers’ sales offices and branches.

Excluding those offices and branches, e-commerce accounted for 20.1% of sales for merchant wholesalers in 2012.

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