Archive for April, 2011

Trans-Atlantic Trade Keeps Going, and Going…

April 26, 2011

According to PIERS data, the strength of first quarter volume indicates U.S.-Europe trade is holding up well despite fears that the onset of austerity programs in Europe could eat into eastbound cargo flows, or that U.S. consumers were still skittish about buying European luxury goods. This analysis is according to Peter T. Leach, who recently wrote an article for The Journal of Commerce using PIERS data and likened U.S.-Europe trade to the reliable Energizer Bunny—it keeps going and going.

U.S. containerized imports from Europe expanded 11.9 percent in 2010 over the depressed figures of 2009. But as with many trade figures, the rebound in trans-Atlantic container trade was only a relative recovery.

Piers Chart

The PIERS figures show westbound container trade last year was still 10 percent behind 2008 volume. The rebound also was concentrated largely at the top. Container volume for the top 10 container lines expanded 17.3 percent year-over-year last year and nearly reached the 2008 level.

Leach’s article makes it apparent that getting a handle on European trade data is as important in good times as it is in bad times, and the pace of business is ever-changing. Leach says ships were sailing full or close to full in both directions on the Atlantic for much of last year, so carriers were able to push through hefty increases early in the year. But slowing demand in the third quarter meant they weren’t able to nail down the full rate increases they posted on October 1. The fate of the general rate increases carriers posted for April 1 remains in doubt, as shippers say enough is enough, especially when they are still negotiating the coming year’s annual contracts. Maintaining a close eye on these types of rapid developments is essential to successful global business navigation.

PIERS products are widely used by companies trading with Europe to analyze trade volume with U.S.ports, benchmark their competition’s activity, analyze market shares, source U.S.raw materials and more. Through PIERS, users have the ability to create transportation trending analysis reports and closely study trade between the U.S.and Europe. Find out how you can help eliminate uncertainty by contacting us at (800) 952-3839 or register for a free demo to learn more about our solutions for the European market.

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The Japan Disaster: What Happens Now?

April 19, 2011

Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami badly damaged a nuclear power plant, wreaked havoc on supply chains, and seriously disrupted consumer spending. Parts of Japan are expected to suffer electricity shortages into the summer, further limiting economic activity. Many are left wondering— how long will it take for trade to and from Japan to regain stability?

News sources say rising oil prices and radiation fears pose major threats to trade activity in Japan. In fact, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is set to start radiation checks on ships and containers leaving three main international ports in and near Tokyo for foreign ports by the end of April, according to an article by PIERS’ sister company, The Journal of Commerce (JOC). Many in the industry see these precautionary measures as positive steps toward repairing the interruption in trade. Therefore, accessing current global market intelligence is more important than ever to make sense of these developments.

In a recent webcast held by PIERS and JOC, experts discussed the impact of the Japanese earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear troubles on global supply chains and revealed this type of disaster holds opportunities as well as impediments. Panelists included Mario Moreno, JOC/PIERS economist; Jim Rice, deputy director for the Center for Transportation and Logistics at MIT; and Bruce Arntzen, MIT senior research director.

Moreno emphasized just how important Japan is to U.S. trade—Japan ranked as our fourth largest trading partner in 2010. In a recent JOC article citing PIERS data, Moreno predicted a one percent decrease in imports from Japan for the full year, facing the reality that plant damage and electrical shortages have disrupted production of automotive parts—the top category of containerized imports from Japan. Rice and Arntzen further put the disaster into perspective by explaining how this disaster is different from other recent events such as the Haiti earthquake or the Gulf oil spill, mainly because Japan is both a major supplier region and a major consumer region.

So what happens now? Companies should stick to their business continuity plans overall, say Rice and Arntzen. Now is the time to gauge how your suppliers have been impacted and find out their dependency on Japan. While demand may fall off in some areas, there may be ample opportunities for growth if a material void can be filled.

If your supply chain has been disrupted and you would like assistance reestablishing it, or if you see an opportunity for growth, PIERS has the tools to help you. Contact us at (800) 952-3839 or register for a free demo to learn more about our solutions.

PIERS Explores Major Economic Drivers of U.S.-Brazil Trade

April 13, 2011

U.S. exports to Brazil surged in 2010, over 43% from the previous year, according to Jeff Campbell, PIERS Vice President. Campbell presented as a subject matter expert on trade between Brazil and the U.S. at last week’s Intermodal South America Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, widely considered a leading event for international trade, logistics, transport and cargo handling in Latin America.

Campbell detailed forecasts and challenges derived from PIERS data regarding imports, exports, carriers, ports and commodities. The presentation revealed growth over 2010 due to stabilization politically and economically in both countries. Trade was robust in tires and automobile manufacturing, and major Fortune 100 companies (Dow Chemical, Caterpillar and EI Dupont) continue to concentrate business in Brazil. Campbell surmised trade in 2011 and 2012 will show modest growth, despite concerns over Middle East unrest, oil prices and other political and economic factors such as the fall out from the Japanese earthquakes and tsunami and the continuing Libyan conflict.

Participation at the Intermodal South America Conference highlights PIERS’ role as a leading provider of global trade intelligence with expertise in the Latin American market. PIERS released a Spanish version of PIERS TI, their popular trade intelligence solution, last month and offers trade data solutions for all major Latin American economies. PIERS TI is an online, import/export database providing immediate insight into the details of global trade transactions. The raw data feed from U.S. Customs is rapidly updated and standardized daily, allowing immediate access and instant analysis of the markets that matter most to your business.

PIERS, JOC Exchange, and JOC Sailings, PIERS’ sister companies also exhibited at the event. PIERS was on site providing demonstrations on a variety of their trade intelligence solutions. JOC Exchange was demonstrating their new technology platform which connects spot market buyers and sellers of container capacity. This web-based platform introduces automation and efficiency to a process historically managed via faxes, e-mail and phone calls. PIERS, JOC Exchange and JOC Sailings will continue to expand their business solutions into the South American market.

Gavin Carter, PIERS Executive Vice President, said, “I am proud that PIERS plays such an important role in the trade relations between Brazil and the U.S. as well as the rest of South America.”

Welcome to Data in Motion!

April 6, 2011

This blog was created to provide unprecedented access to PIERS’ valuable market intelligence for the transportation industry. If you’re just getting to know us, let us tell you about ourselves. Here are a few important things to remember about PIERS.

1. The only import and export database. PIERS is the most comprehensive database of U.S. waterborne trade activity in the world providing information services to thousands of subscribers globally. Our business intelligence tools and solutions are based on a unique infrastructure and proprietary technology that allows PIERS to not only publish import data, but also complete coverage of U.S. export transactional data.

2. Covers every major world economy. Our U.S. and international trade data spans the globe with an emphasis on significant trading partners and emerging regions in Asia and South America, such as, China, India and Brazil.

3. Variety of products and solutions for many different markets. PIERS has a wide variety of products and solutions geared toward NVOCCs/freight forwarders, ocean carriers, railway carriers, trucking companies, ports and many more markets.

4. Single-source solution. We are a resource for multiple import and export databases in a single interface including the U.S. Census, U.S. Customs, Bills of Lading, Manifests, United Nations data and Dun & Bradstreet data.

5. Data credibility. PIERS is also owned by one of the world’s largest corporations, United Business Media and is a sister company to The Journal of Commerce—an established and trusted news source in the transportation industry.

Is your business looking to generate sales leads? Research import and export trade activity? Analyze cargo volumes and flow? Study market shares? These are just some of the solutions we provide through our proprietary product lines. Register for a free demo and a PIERS’ Data Solution Expert will be happy to provide you with a demo specific to your market.

You can rely on Data in Motion to provide you with blog posts on global trade intelligence specific to your business needs with interesting reports, insights and industry news from our economists, analysts, our sister company The Journal of Commerce and more. We hope that you’ll continue to stop by for this valuable trade intelligence.


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