Archive for September, 2011

U.S. Containerized Exports Rebounded in July

September 27, 2011

According to PIERS data, U.S. containerized exports rebounded in July as demand for waste paper and scrap metals strengthened. Overall U.S. containerized exports increased 4.8% in July 2011 over July 2010 after falling 1.7% in June. Year-over-year exports were led by waste paper, up 13%, metal scraps, up 15% and logs and lumber, up 31%. Also seeing increases were grains and flour products, up 37%; poultry, up 21%; meat, up 15% and motor vehicles, up 6%.

Shipments of fabrics including raw cotton tumbled 50% in the month, marking its third successive monthly decline on a year-over-year basis. Pet and animal feeds, including DDGs, continued on a downward trend, losing 21% of volume. This marks the fifth consecutive decline for pet and animal feeds exports, year-over-year. The pending antidumping case, initiated by China against the U.S. for dumping DDG, continued to adversely affect DDGs’ shipments to top market China. Synthetic resins contracted 13%.

On a regional level, exports to Northeast Asia led the gains, rising 7% followed by Northern Europe, up 6%. On the downside, exports to the Caribbean saw volume losses again, this time a drop of 12%. Exports to Southeast Asia declined 4%.

On a country level, China led the gains driven by a strengthening demand for waste paper, logs and lumber and wood pulp. Exports to top market China surged 9% (or 16,896 TEUs) to a total of 208,445 TEUs, followed by Korea and Australia with a 14% and 24% gain, respectively. Exports to Australia were supported by a solid demand for U.S. lawn and garden equipment, pet and animal feeds and logs and lumber. Most losses in the month were seen in the Dominican Republic (-17%), Indonesia (-11%) and Japan (-2%).

PIERS is the only source for transaction-level U.S. export data. PIERS’ staff reporters cover every major U.S. port, collecting and processing over 300,000 export Bills of Lading each month to give our customers a complete view of U.S. trade. To learn more about PIERS export data, visit


Second NVOCC Report from PIERS Provides Key Comparisons Between 2010 and 2011

September 21, 2011

PIERS has once again taken a detailed look at the Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) market in a comprehensive new report titled “PIERS NVOCC Market Report – Import Market Dynamics 1H-2011 vs. 1H-2010.”

Following June’s report, “PIERS NVOCC Analysis,” which documented NVOCC market growth overall, the second report delves specifically into the U.S. inbound liner shipping trades during the first half of 2011 compared with the first half of 2010. This snapshot comparison of NVOCC performance in these two time periods is examined by both region and carrier.

“NVOCCs have been very successful and control a significant portion of the containerized cargo in U.S. foreign waterborne trade. This report enables users to track NVOCC growth and address questions they might have on their impact on quality of service, inland service, cargo consolidation and documentation,” said PIERS Vice President, Jeff Campbell. “This report is an example of the many ways users can analyze various markets through PIERS data.”

According to the report, overall growth of NVOCCs in 1H-2011 was moderate and exceeded total trade growth in terms of volume and value. NVOCCs earned slight increases in market share for both measures. Regional performance was mixed, with positive growth in the largest volume markets. But in terms of value, market share receded in many markets with the exception of the largest Transpacific and Transatlantic markets. The report is available for purchase online for $99.

Vitamin Manufacturer Gets a Healthy Dose of Trade Data

September 13, 2011

In the world of vitamins and nutritional supplements, it is preferable to purchase vitamin products and ingredients that are manufactured in the United States because the manufacturing standards are pharmaceutical grade. However, these standards are only required to manufacture vitamins and supplements in the U.S., not to sell them. As a result many companies are tempted to cut costs by purchasing manufactured products from countries like China and India. They then use clever marketing to lead consumers into believing that the products are manufactured in the U.S.

One leading company in the vitamin and nutritional supplement industry that values quality over cost savings has found PIERS data an invaluable tool. Their customers were being approached by other vitamin manufacturers with what was supposed to be the same product, but at a cheaper rate. By using PIERS TI® to monitor their competition, they were able to pinpoint which of their competitors were purchasing large quantities of product outside of the U.S. and found that the reason the vitamins were cheaper was that it wasn’t the same product. They were bringing in processed vitamins from China that are known to have fillers and be of a lesser quality.

Armed with this intelligence, sales reps from the high-end vitamin manufacturer were able to discredit their competitors and prove that their products are of superior quality. One quick search by company, of imports from China could provide them with irrefutable facts of what was imported and where it came from, allowing them to continue selling their high-end product and protect their existing customer base.

Want to learn more about how PIERS TI can enhance your company’s competitive intelligence? Request a demo from one of our solutions experts.

JOC’s Analysis of Land vs. Sea: Roller Coaster on the Water

September 6, 2011

According to The Journal of Commerce (JOC), PIERS sister company, freight pricing on land transport is steady and even rising, but the spot market in ocean shipping is raising the stakes for the peak season.

The extensive analysis provided a comprehensive outlook on the competitive dynamics in the ocean transportation environment. New figures from various international sources illustrate the vast differences between ocean operations and land transportation such as trucking and rail. A key take-away message—as an international industry with almost no barriers to entry, ocean operations can lure foreign investors seeking a quick profit to move quickly into a trade when freight rates are favorable, the article said.

Case in point: When Union Pacific Railroad’s intermodal volume slipped 1 percent in the second quarter, including a 2 percent drop in international containers, barely a ripple of concern or financial pain fluttered through North America’s largest railroad. That’s because revenue per unit jumped 14 percent over 2010’s second quarter, a demonstration of pricing power in the U.S. shipping market that spread through the railroad industry.

Over that same quarter, Singapore-based container shipping line APL rode improving global trade demand to its strongest volume ever—58,000 weekly 40-foot equivalent units—a 7 percent improvement over the year before.

The divergent results are a stark example of how the major transportation channels serving supply chains are coping with weakened demand as they compete for a greater share of shipping spending in the coming peak season.

Although experts have high confidence heading into the peak holiday season, the article’s authors say to maintain a focus on how carriers manage capacity after the peak, as that will be crucial to their financial performance for this year and next.

PIERS has several product solutions to assist ocean carriers, railroad carriers and others in the supply chain. View U.S. and foreign port volumes, research trade lane activity, identify importer exporter activity by origin, destination, commodity and more. Learn how PIERS can help your long-term strategy for keeping up with the developments in ocean transport by visiting and register to receive a free demo today.

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