Archive for September, 2012

Quotes in Motion

September 27, 2012

“To reach a port, we must sail –
sail, not tie at anchor – sail, not drift.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes

Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal
(taken by a PIERS employee via Instagram)


Autumn is for Apples

September 25, 2012

One of the great delights of autumn is the abundance of fresh, ripe, local and delicious apples. Of course they’re available year-round these days, but they’re at their best right now. Not only are there more varieties to choose from in the fall but there’s something special about apples from the autumn crop!

PIERS can deliver the intelligence that you need! Keep your eye on agricultural imports and exports, learn more about this market segment and ascertain emerging trends that can assist in future strategic business decisions. Register to learn more about how PIERS Data can show you the details behind every U.S. waterborne shipment in near real-time.

To the Point!

September 20, 2012

It can create a 70 mile long line, write an average of 45,000 words, erase errors and beat out an infinite number of drum solos…it is called the “pencil”.

Most of us have picked up, used and lost a pencil (more than a few times) without even a second thought. Pencils are simply…common. Can you believe the “modern” pencil was once a controversial addition to the classroom? Some American school teachers believed that the 1858 invention of pencils with attached erasers would encourage student carelessness. The pencil clearly prevailed and is now among the world’s most popular tools for writing and drawing!

Today, the demand and market for pencils is much more lucrative than one would think; about $3.6 billion worth of pencils are sold just within the U.S. each year. Despite the common misconception that pencils are a dying business, pencil consumption generally grows globally at or around the rate of population growth.

The problem began in the early 1990s when Chinese manufacturers entered the market with low-priced pencils. The pencil industry fought back, arguing that the Chinese were dumping pencils on the U.S. market at below cost and lobbying Washington for protection.  When merchandise is sold at a price below that for which it sells in its own country, the merchandise is dumped in a foreign market. The lower priced imports, more competitive than their domestic counterparts, result in dilapidated domestic industries. Due to its detrimental effects on domestic business and production, dumping is a major aspect of unfair trading practice in trade relations.

During late 1994 the Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of pencils from China; the rate varied over the years but has remained at 114.9% since 2003. These anti-dumping duties have assisted the U.S. pencil manufacturers from being totally devastated by Chinese imports, even though many U.S. pencil producers have had to become involved in Chinese production or import pencil supplies themselves to remain competitive within the market. Some Chinese companies attempt to avoid these dumping duties through trans-shipment via a third country (Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam) not subject to the duties and/or by purposely mislabeling the country of origin for the pencils.

Both are illegal practices under international trade rules and can be difficult to detect. A Federal District Court in Washington, DC unsealed a False Claims Act case against major retailers accused of transshipping Chinese made pencils to avoid antidumping duties, according to a May 2012 press release.

PIERS offers instant access to details on U.S. import shipments. Our international trade data combined with market specific intelligence can help provide a global picture of a commodity, the companies trading it and possibly dumping activities.  Register online for a demo.

Chilling the Supply Chain

September 18, 2012

Global trade has made the relative distance between regions of the world seem much smaller; opening up the world, but the physical separation of these same regions is still a very important reality. The greater the distance, the greater the increase in travel time and the likelihood that freight (and its contents) can be damaged in one of the transport operations involved. Perishable goods can be damaged by excessive temperature variations, avoidable only with cold chain technology.

The cold chain refers to the transporting of temperature sensitive products along a supply chain through thermal and refrigerated packaging methods to protect the integrity of the shipment. Refrigerated freight, “reefer” freight, is a method of shipping temperature-sensitive goods. In the past few decades, the cold chain supply business has grown drastically! In September of 2011, Drewry Maritime Research announced that worldwide trade in perishable products continued to increase in 2010 in line with the seaborne trade growth, which in turn lead to a strong demand for reefer transport capacity. The report also concluded that the mode of transport is the factor that continues to change the industry; it forecasts that some 74% of perishable reefer cargo will be carried by container ships by 2014, which accounts for 95% of whole refer reefer capacity.

Knowing how to analyze data and understand the movement of goods is important in the supply chain industry especially when you’re transporting perishable goods! PIERS reefer data can identify refrigerated cargo type along with its temperature & humidity settings. We can also tell you the consignee, shipper, carrier name, commodity and more. Talk to us today!

Want an exclusive and complimentary copy of the 1H2012 Reefer Report? Register today and we’ll email it to you!

PIERS Offers a U.S. Agriculture Export Snapshot Report

September 13, 2012

Wheat, corn, soybeans – we have a comprehensive database of international trade activity for them all! PIERS has issued an exclusive report titled PIERS 1H-2012 U.S. Agriculture Export Snapshot Report that documents agriculture export volume from Q1 2007 through Q2 2012. The report is now available for free download.

With frequent access to PIERS data, you can track and analyze the U.S. supply chain and understand the movement of agriculture commodities with export activity by shipper, destination, commodity and more!

Register to download your exclusive and complimentary copy of the PIERS 1H-2012 U.S. Agriculture Export Snapshot Report to learn more about this market segment, ascertain emerging trends and assist in future strategic business decisions. Interested in learning more on how to keep your eye on agricultural imports and exports? Visit PIERS at booth # 214 at the 7th Annual Soy & Grain Trade Summit in New Orleans, September 17 – 19.

Back-to-School 101: It’s in the Bag

September 11, 2012

The Huntington Backpack Index estimates, on average, back-to-school costs will increase 6% in 2012. The annual survey of the cost of school supplies and for common extracurricular activities found:

  • Elementary school student — $548
  • Middle school student — $724
  • High school student — $1,117

With $500 plus worth of supplies, how do they carry it all? The trusty backpack!

Register online for FREE, instant access to details on U.S. import shipments with PIERS TI Basic.

Exceeding 800 Million TEUs by 2017?

September 6, 2012

Overcapacity issues surfaced as new capacity increased; too much capacity in 2010 resulted in oversupply in 2011. The shipping industry faced a series of financial difficulties created by stagnation in market growth and a dramatic increase in capacity – in both number of vessels and containers made available in the market.

Inbound nominal capacity and demand aboard fully cellular vessels deployed to US trade lanes, 1992-2011.

Carriers placed a significant amount of new orders in 2008 for larger ships, which are expected to enter the world’s fleet by the end of 2012 and into 2013. Shipyards have been operating at a pace designed to service global demand that has simply failed to materialize; the hefty imbalance between supply and demand left carriers with surplus tonnage (as detailed in the PIERS Capacity Utilization Report 2011). Current industry trends show carrier accepting more of an active role in the management of their container assets, reviewing strategies to manage the fleet of empty containers and decreasing the amount of time a container sits idle or travels to be repositioned.

While threats to global economic recovery still exist with the Eurozone crisis and US debt negotiations, the consensus is that global economic growth will be sustained for several years to come. Drewry Maritime Research released their annual port sector report; forecasting a 6% increase in international container volume and global port throughput growing to 800 million TEUs in 2017 from 588 million TEUs in 2011. China’s share of container port throughput grew from 19% in 2002 to 30% in 2011. They report global marine terminals’ share of throughput grew from 58% in 2002 to 76% in 2011. They also warned that although port congestion may be a concern of today, growth in demand is expected to outstrip growth in port capacity.

PIERS can deliver the intelligence that you need! We have several solutions to assist in analyzing the global supply chain and understand the movement of goods. Contact us today to have a PIERS Data Solutions Expert contact you to provide more information or schedule a product demonstration.

Stars and Stripes

September 3, 2012

The unofficial end of the summer and a celebration of America’s working men and women is upon us. The first Labor Day was held in 1882. Its origins stem from the desire of the Central Labor Union to create a holiday for workers to celebrate various labor associations’ strengths of and contributions to the United States economy.  According to the U.S. Flag Code, Labor Day is a holiday in which ‘Old Glory’ should be front and center!

Did you know?

  • The United States Flag is the third oldest of the National Standards of the world; older than the Union Jack of Britain or the Tricolor of France.
  • The colors of the Flag: red is for valor, zeal and fervency; white for hope purity, cleanliness of life, and rectitude of conduct; blue for loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth.
  • In 1818 Congress enacted that the number of stripes be reduced and restricted henceforth to thirteen representing the thirteen original states; while a star should be added for each succeeding state. That law is the law of today.
  • The flag is alive! The U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8(j) says “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”
  • A flag positioned upside down is a sign of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property; essentially an S.O.S.

PIERS wishes those working hard to meet need, acquire their wants and ensuring that their dreams come true a Happy Labor Day!

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