Archive for June, 2011

Ka-Boom! Commodity Trends with the Click of a Button

June 29, 2011

This weekend, the skies will light up with the fiery, colorful sparkle of fireworks throughout the U.S. in celebration of Independence Day.

A quick search in PIERS StatsPlus for “fireworks” gives a snapshot of market specific intelligence to illustrate commodity growth trends, leading producers and buyers and market share information. This search confirms what many in the industry have seen for years—China continues to dominate, holding over 95% of the market in 2009 and 2010.

Trend Analysis for Top U.S. Import Markets for Fireworks, 2010

Trend Analysis for Top Growing U.S. Markets for Fireworks, 2010

Total time required to assess the global market trading trends for this commodity: Minutes!

PIERS StatsPlus™ uses international trade statistics combined with market specific trade intelligence to provide the global picture of a commodity and the companies trading it. To learn more about what StatsPlus can do for you, visit our Product & Solutions page on Facebook.


PIERS Issues Unprecedented Report on NVOCC Growth

June 22, 2011

After taking a detailed look at the Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) market, PIERS analysts have found this market sector is anything but common. Announced today, PIERS has issued an exclusive report titled “PIERS NVOCC Analysis” that documents NVOCC growth since 2006. The report is now available for free download.

The report mainly concluded that as U.S. trade with the rest of the world has grown explosively during the past decade, the NVOCC industry has grown even more rapidly. This growth can be attributed to several factors, but at the core, NVOCCs have grown because they facilitate the international transport of relatively small shipment lots that would otherwise be less likely to move across borders in the ocean freight system.

The report includes several graphs and charts featuring key findings and illustrating these positive trends. During the 2006-2010 period, total U.S. inbound liner shipping volumes declined by 2.8 percent per year on an average. However, volumes moving under a NVOCC flag increased by 4.2 percent per year from 2006 to 2010, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Indexed Inbound Trade Growth Total Volume Versus NVO Volume

NVOCCs also outperformed total trade in terms of value. In 2006, NVOCCs captured 28.2 percent of inbound liner shipments by value and 33.5 percent in 2010. Annual average growth of trade in terms of value was 0.6 percent from 2006-2010 compared to a 3.7 percent annual decline for total trade, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Total Inbound Trade Value, NVOCC Versus Total

PIERS’ dynamic NVOCC data offers marketing and sales professionals, as well as analysts and other leaders in the industry, unique and customized insight into the performance of the NVOCC market and can be used to determine the underlying factors of its growth as well as its impact on your business.

Strong Summer Season Seems Unlikely for Ocean Carriers

June 14, 2011

Summer is traditionally a more promising time of year for ocean carriers, but according to new reports from Alphaliner, profits are expected to fall. The pessimistic outlook follows several negative financial reports from carriers.

The financial performance of ocean carriers will deteriorate in the second quarter as falling freight rates and rising operating costs hit shipping companies’ bottom lines, as recently reported in the Journal of Commerce. Freight rates will most likely not show any significant improvement before July.

APL, Hanjin Shipping and Hapag-Lloyd all reported losses in the first quarter, and Maersk Line parent A.P. Moller-Maersk warned in reporting stronger first-quarter earnings that it expects a slimmer profit later in the year.

Average operating margins of the five main carriers shrunk from 13 percent in the final three months of 2010 to -1 percent in the first quarter of 2011. This masks a wide variation in the operating margins among carriers—ranging from 7 percent for Maersk Line to -13 percent for CSAV in the first quarter. This erratic behavior could prolong the current downturn as action to curb oversupply is delayed.

As more trends in the transportation industry divert from predictability, more key players are using PIERS solutions to stay ahead of the game. Seaboard Marine, for example, uses PIERS data to effectively manage competitive planning.

“It has strengthened our ability to keep up-to-date on the import/export activities of other companies which empowers us to react not only with informed strategy, but also with swift ingenuity,” said one representative of the company. “The data portrays the market shares of other ocean carriers with clarity and precision, proving instrumental to our successful achievement of wide-ranging market research initiatives.”

To learn more about how PIERS can help your business, visit or register for a free demo. A PIERS’ Data Solution Expert will be happy to provide you with a demo specific to your market. You can also network with other PIERS users through our newly-launched Facebook page and LinkedIn Group.

Solid Growth at European Ports – How Are You Keeping Track?

June 7, 2011

PIERS’ sister company, The Journal of Commerce (JOC) reported that according to a Global Port Tracker report from Hackett Associates and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, experts predict a strong six months ahead for ocean container imports and exports at six major European ports, indicating a return to pre-recession economic conditions. The ports tracked include le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Bremen/Bremerhaven and Hamburg.

After a couple of active months in April and May, incoming volumes are expected to settle down through September at the six North European ports monitored. Import volume every month at each port through September is projected to post a year-over-year gain. Export volumes at the six ports are expected to be relatively flat on a month-to-month basis, but solid year-over-year growth is anticipated. In the longer term, all four upcoming quarters are forecast to post year-over-year growth for both incoming and outgoing container volumes.

Particularly, the Port of Hamburg is expected to show healthy growth with volumes increasing as transshipment to Scandinavia and Russia picks up, especially in the second and third quarters of this year. It expects that all but one of the upcoming six months will post an increase over the previous month in incoming container volumes and all are anticipated to post year-over-year gains.

Sound familiar? Our April blog post also reported on the positive and solid “Energizer bunny” effect of U.S.-Europe trade. With all of these positive developments in the transportation industry, how are you keeping up? Try a free demo of PIERS’ various products designed to keep you informed with the most current data to help shape your business.

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