Posts Tagged ‘exports’

PIERS Reports Growth in U.S. Containerized Imports

August 13, 2013

U.S. containerized imports edged up 0.7% year-over-year in May, following year-over-year growth of 2% in April, according to PIERS data. U.S. containerized imports totaled 1.54 million TEUs in May, the highest monthly volume since August 2012.

“Retailers have come to realize that their expectations in the beginning of the year for a resilient, improving consumer sector were a bit too optimistic, resulting in slowing demand for foreign goods starting the second quarter,” said PIERS/Journal of Commerce economist Mario Moreno in the July report of JOC Insights. “Second quarter imports will likely grow by no more than 2% year-over-year, which is in line with my expectations.”

Containerized import volume in May was up 4% from April.

U.S. Containerized imports May 2013

Leading the gains among the top 25 imports were miscellaneous fruits, with a 39% year-over-year jump; kitchenware, up 17%; and footwear, up 15%. The largest declines were seen in toys, electronic products, and address machinery, all down 9%.

Among the top 25 source countries, U.S. imports from Chile showed the largest increase in May, up nearly 30% year-over-year to 18,718 TEUs. Shipments from Brazil totaled 27,987 TEUs in May, up 26% year-over-year. Ecuador’s exports to the U.S. in May totaled 10,541 TEUs, growing 24.2% year-over-year. Of the largest sourcing country declines, shipments from Japan showed the biggest drop, off 14% year-over-year to 46,381 TEUs. Hong Kong followed with a 13.5% drop to 30,859 TEUs, while Turkey’s volume fell 10.4% to 9,397 TEUs.

To learn more about how you can benefit from PIERS import & export data register to receive a free demo.


Economists Cautiously Optimistic Over U.S. Import & Export Growth Forecast

April 16, 2013

Are we seeing enough economic recovery this spring to support growth in volumes of U.S. containerized imports and exports? Economists are seeing some hope, especially in the U.S., but the spring is still looking pretty chilly on a global scale. In the U.S., housing starts and employment are up, but much of southern Europe is mired in recession and growth in emerging Asian markets is slowing.

On the whole, a global recovery is under way, but there are plenty of risks that could cause growth to sputter, especially if it encounters another “black swan” event in the form of an unpredictable catastrophe such as the tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck Japan in 2011.

Any recovery in Europe could be upset by eruption of a fiscal crisis in southern Europe. “Optimism has started to take hold in recent months, but the economic hangover is still very much with us,” said Nick Kounis, head of macroeconomic research for ABN Amro Bank. Yet trade volumes are likely to get stronger this year and even stronger by the second half of 2014 when the global recovery takes hold. Global trade volume, which increased 3% in 2012, is likely to grow 3.3% this year and 3.9% in 2014, Kounis said.

US Containerized Exports

Source: PIERS/JOC Container Shipping Outlook, March 2013

But persistent global economic clouds are causing some economists to cut their forecast of U.S. trade growth. In March PIERS/The Journal of Commerce, economist Mario Moreno reduced his forecast for the growth of U.S. containerized exports this year to 2%, to a total of 12.1 million TEUs, compared with his previous forecast of 4.1%, “in light of the fourth quarter’s weak performance, the general deceleration of volume growth during 2012, and less optimistic economic forecasts across the globe.”

Moreno also cut his forecast for 2014 export growth to 3.4% from the 4.4% rate he estimated in December. “While fiscal uncertainty in the U.S. has been largely contained, in Europe, questions remain on how solid the commitment to austerity is, especially in Italy, where anti-austerity candidates made progress in the last election,” he said. “Such an outcome makes already nervous investors less willing to commit capital to projects and could delay the economic recovery across the European continent.”

Us Containerized Imports

Source: PIERS/JOC Container Shipping Outlook, March 2013

Moreno expects import volumes to grow 2.6% in 2013 to a total of 17.6 million TEUs, compared with just 1.5% in 2012. But he remains cautious in view of the 3.9% dip in total U.S. import volumes in the final quarter of 2012, which capped a disappointing 2012 for U.S. inbound container trade. Annual containerized import traffic expanded just 1.5% during the year, decelerating from the 2.7% pace set in 2011 and a far cry from the 14.5% increase posted in 2010.

He said the 2012 performance was significantly below the two-year moving average of 10.4%, which indicates further sluggishness going forward. Although the fourth quarter 2012 performance can be partially attributed to Hurricane Sandy and labor disputes at U.S. ports, he said the slowdown was primarily due to worsening U.S. economic conditions, particularly fiscal uncertainty and its impact on private investment, which was keeping a tight lid on containerized import growth. “I do not see these conditions appreciably improving during 2013 and am therefore compelled to lower our projection to 2.6% growth,” Moreno said.

For more information about PIERS trade intelligence visit or to learn more about The Journal of Commerce’s Container Shipping Outlook visit

Export-Import Bank 101: Facilitating International Trade

March 28, 2013

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official U.S. export credit agency providing financing to American businesses at no cost to taxpayers. Established in 1934, Ex-Im Bank supports jobs through the financing of U.S. exports by providing loans, loan guarantees, and insurance. Nearly $35.8 billion in total authorizations were made in 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record; this total includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Global access is top priority; assisting in the production and exporting of goods and services for legitimate sales in a new market or for increasing sales in an existing one. With the President’s push to double exports by 2105 (as mentioned in a previous PIERS blog); small businesses need to expand overseas and break into foreign markets. Most companies are export-ready but find it difficult to secure private loans and guarantees. Commercial banks have reduced funds allocated for export transactions in recent years; Ex-Im Bank ensures payment by overseas customers and fund production.

Currently worldwide renewable environmental projects are the focus for Ex-Im Bank, as it tries to satisfy a Congress-mandated goal of 10% of total financing directed to the sector. Most recently, the agency has assisted with:

  • solar panels exports to India (creating 200 jobs in CA)
  • wind turbines exports to Honduras (creating 200 jobs in 6 states)
  • aircraft exports to Indonesia (sustaining jobs in WA, SC, OR and UT)
  • aircraft exports to Israel (sustaining more than 1,300 jobs WA, SC, OR and UT)

PIERS will be attending the Export-Import Bank of the United States 2013 Annual Conference in Washington D.C. on April 4th and 5th, make sure to visit us at booth 128.

Unable to attend the conference and you are a bank that offers financing to importers and exporters? Our Trade Finance database provides access to over 500,000 D&B company profiles of active importers and exporters.  Register here to receive 10 free trade finance leads.

Texas Remains on Top

February 20, 2013

In the 1990s, California was America’s export leader. Then, in 2002, Texas took the lead and never looked back.  For the 11th year in a row, Texas remains the top exporting state according to 2012 annual trade data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Total exports for the state increased 5.4% from 2011, reaching $265 billion, and ultimately outperformed overall U.S. exports.


Once dependent on natural gas imports, the U.S. has gone from a buyer to a potential seller after recent natural gas discoveries across the country (as stated in a previous PIERS blog) are made accessible with new extraction technology. The U.S. oil and gas industry has been surging and Texas has been a beneficiary of that trend with its top exporting industry in 2012 being petroleum and coal products. Other top exporting commodities were chemicals, computer and electronic products, non-electrical machinery and transportation equipment.

“The fact that Texas is ranked the nation’s top exporter for the 11th year in a row further demonstrates that our strong economic climate provides a broad range of opportunities for businesses to succeed,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Could it be that America is making progress towards the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2015? To learn more about the unique advantages of using PIERS U.S. Export Data visit or click here to register for a free demo.

PIERS Free Reports

December 27, 2012

Before the year comes to an end, download any of our one-of-a-kind complimentary reports:

PIERS/Informex Market Opportunities for U.S. Chemical Exports

This report provides a detailed analysis of top markets for U.S. chemical exports classified  under chapters 28 & 29 of the harmonized tariff schedule. Understand what commodities are traded in high volume in each of these markets and what chemicals are experiencing high growth or decline. Furthermore, we examine the applications for each of these chemicals and how market conditions in each of these countries are driving these trends.

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PIERS Capacity Utilization Report 2011

This report provides an overview of capacity utilization on major U.S. trade lanes by quarter and as well a 2011 versus 2010 performance comparison. PIERS dynamic import/export data offers industry analysts, C-suite executives, marketing professionals and those involved in the logistics industry, a unique and deep insight into global capacity utilization statistics and trends. This report’s analysis can be leveraged to ascertain the underlying factors affecting regional waterborne trade worldwide as well as their impact on your current and future business decisions.

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PIERS NVOCC Market Report – Import Market Dynamics, 2011 vs 2010

The latest PIERS report enables users to track import growth of NVOCCs in the U.S. and around the world. It includes both aggregate NVOCC industry and individual NVOCC company market share by major trade region, volume, value of trade and carrier (VOCC) association. These assessments offer a view of performance over time so the U.S. can compare NVOCC performance with overall market growth.

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PIERS Capacity Utilization Report, 1H-2011 vs 1H-2010

This report provides current analysis of import/export capacity utilization on major U.S. trade lanes for the first half of 2011 compared to 2010. The report’s must-know intelligence is particularly significant because of the void in carrier supply data since 2006. Were demand and supply projections too optimistic in some regional markets? How are ocean carriers reacting to shipper demand volatility? Which regions are seeing the most balanced supply and demand load factor? Find this and more when you download PIERS Capacity Utilization Report.

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PIERS NVOCC Market Report – Import Market Dynamics, 1H-2011 vs 1H-2010

The PIERS NVOCC Market Report series compares 1H-2011 data with 1H-2010 to drill down deep into the market’s performance dynamics over the past 12 months. View TEU volume and NVOCC market share statistics by trade region. Track where NVOCC import growth is occurring. See top 50 carriers using NVOCCs by TEU volume. Pinpoint NVOCC impacts on scheduling, inland service, cargo consolidation, documentation and ocean liner rates and much more.

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PIERS NVOCC Market Analysis 2006-2010
PIERS helps you get ahead and stay ahead with the most up-to-date, in-depth analysis of the NVOCC import market. This free analysis is on an overall portrait of the NVOCC market, its performance over time and its likely direction. What regions globally are seeing the greatest NVOCC growth, volume and market share? Which top 20 NVOCCs capture just over 50 percent of all NVOCC volume? How much did total volume handled by NVOCCs grow over the years? Find this and more when you download the PIERS NVOCC Analysis Report.

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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.

PIERS and Join Forces to Help U.S. Exporters

December 20, 2012

PIERS, the Standard in Trade Intelligence, and, a leading global e-commerce platform for small businesses, is pleased to announced a partnership to help U.S. companies expand their products and services to the global marketplace.

PIERS has long been known as the standard in trade intelligence from its 40 year history of collecting waterborne bills of lading, solidifying it as the world’s most comprehensive database of imports, and the only provider with complete export trade activity. This trade intelligence matched with Dun & Bradstreet’s core company information, creates a complete picture of a company and their trade.




As a result of the new partnership, will leverage PIERS’ deep trade intelligence and offer businesses in their database a free Verified Membership on the platform which will elevate the international presence of U.S. small businesses.’s Verified Membership program is an authentication process that bolsters sellers’ trust and credibility on the platform. In addition, the Verified Membership status on allows sellers to showcase their products and services to more than 29 million buyers worldwide. They also receive priority ranking in search results above millions of other unverified members.

“We are seeing an increased interest from buyers in partnering with international suppliers. Through the Verified Membership program, we hope to foster a more trusted and diverse online trade environment and provide international sellers greater visibility,” said Annie Xu , general manager of, Americas. “Our partnership with PIERS will allow us to help U.S. small businesses to tap their export potential and gain greater access to global trade opportunities.”

PIERS continues to work with its partners in the Appalachian Regional Commission, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State International Trade Organization to support the National Export Initiative. This latest partnership with further exemplifies PIERS dedication as the only provider of complete U.S. exports, to continue its investment to help U.S. businesses expand.

“PIERS and its partners are committed to supporting the National Export Initiative and are focused on developing intelligent, growing practices to make it easier for small businesses to market their products globally,” said Wael Jarous , Senior Vice President of PIERS. “We are very excited about this partnership with The time is right to present a solution that ultimately provides a foundation for a rebuilding economy. We believe this can be a game changer for U.S. exports.”

The free Verified Member authentication process is being offered for a limited time only. To submit your business through the PIERS verification process for Verified Membership status on register here.

Counter Your Competitor’s Actions with PIERS TI-Comprehensive

December 18, 2012

There is so much competition with the world being one, connected marketplace today. Has your company tapped into the essence of strategic business analysis; understanding your competitor’s trends, capabilities and weaknesses?

PIERS TI Comprehensive provides the right information at your fingertips! Our raw data feed is rapidly updated and standardized daily, allowing immediate access into recent commodity movements of U.S. imports and exports. PIERS enhances the value by updating the data with standardized, value-add fields and comprehensive search fields along with access to the following:


  • Access to U.S. imports and the ONLY company with complete exports
  • Comprehensive search capabilities on all available fields
  • Historical data going back to 2007
  • Up to 5 years simultaneous searches on Imports
  • Up to 3 year simultaneous searches on Exports
  • View results in one of our report templates
  • Download up to 10,000 records
  • View House/Master BOL relationships

The real value in trade intelligence is to provide managers with the organizational tool to learn what the competitor will do, not what the competitor has already done. Businesses, organizations and governments around the world trust PIERS to deliver global trade intelligence, which means you can trust your business decisions are based upon a solid foundation.

PIERS TI Comprehensive customers use our data to:

  • Generate sales leads
  • Obtain competitive intelligence
  • Identify buyers & suppliers
  • Conduct market research
  • Monitor contractual compliance

Want to learn more about how PIERS TI can enhance your company’s competitive intelligence? Request a demo from one of our solutions experts or sign up before 12/21/12 to receive 25% OFF the price of a new subscription.

Quotes in Motion

December 11, 2012

But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship!

O ship of the body – ship of the soul – voyaging, voyaging, voyaging. 

~Walt Whitman (Aboard at a Ship’s Helm)


Port Miami (image courtesy of FECR)

ASEAN Leaders Begin RCEP Negotiations

December 6, 2012


The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have succeeded in persuading their top trading partners to start negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to create the world’s largest trading bloc. Consisting of a 10-member regional group and their six major trading partners, this trading bloc will potentially transform the region into an integrated market of more than three billion people with a combined GDP of $15 trillion, roughly equal to that of the United States. ASEAN includes Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, and Brunei, RCEP adds the nations of India, Japan, South Korea, China, New Zealand and Australia.

This partnership of 16 countries comprises about half of the world’s population in the part of the world that is experiencing the greatest economic growth; 30% of global GDP. RCEP would “rewrap” five current free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN’s six major trading partners, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand into an integrated regional economic pact. The hope is this will allow deeper economic cooperation than the existing FTA agreements and ultimately lower trade barriers and custom duties across the region by the end of 2015. It is predicted that the repositioning of the financial heart of Asia will turn towards Singapore, and for businesses to branch out from there to other RCEP investments as per the needs of each business.

Based on iPIERS data, U.S. exports to ASEAN countries has continued to increase during 2009 – 2011; a total of 5,749,798 TEUs in 2011, 2,580,235 of those TEUs being exported to China.

US Exports to ASEAN Countires

U.S. imports from ASEAN countries grew by 15%  from 2009 to 2010, but remained flat in 2011. A total of 11,956,944 TEUs were imported into the U.S. in 2011, with 8,494,239 imported from China.

US Imports from ASEAN Countires

World economic recovery efforts continue to be a challenge with the volatile global financial and economic situation. East Asian economies, which rely on trade with developed nations, have been jeopardized by the European and American economies as regional economic integration has become a better choice of ASEAN and its dialogue partners. In an effort to not exclude Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the U.S. – ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement initiative was launched. It is aimed at expanding trade and investment ties with the U.S. and smoothing a path for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which excludes China.

Will competition arise from the two agreements, causing a split among the ASEAN members? Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn!

The Westernization of the Asian Diet

December 4, 2012

In emerging countries, the economic growth results in the rise of a new middle class. A change of diet is the first change that takes place when the standard of living increases. Rapid economic and income growth in Asia, along with urbanization and globalization, have led to a dramatic shift of Asian diets away from affordable staples to animal protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables.


Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ study on Agriculture towards the year 2015/2030 indicates that the trends in international trade of food, which have seen developing countries turn from net exporters to net importers of food commodities, are expected to continue in the future.

The dietary pattern of the Chinese population has changed (over the last twenty years). People’s diets have become more westernized, especially in larger and medium sized cities. The rapid increase in China’s consumption of both corn and soybeans is due, in part, to a growing middle class that is already larger than the entire U.S. population. Greater disposable wealth has resulted in more animal protein in the Chinese diet, meaning larger livestock herds that require a lot more feed grain.

The U.S. a longstanding global corn exporter, and in the past 10 years has also become a major meat exporter. Whether China ultimately chooses to import more corn, more fresh meat, or balance the two – U.S. agriculture will be poised to capitalize on the increase in these exports. As an example, Port Miami has a number of infrastructure projects in development, to serve as a transshipment hub when Asian trade is dropped at Port Miami and then quickly trans-loaded. The infrastructure changes being made at the port with Florida East Coast Railway will increase the flow of goods up North (as stated in an earlier PIERS blog).

Port Miami is actively working with the largest exporters to China, to re-fill Asia-bound containers filled with many different kinds of products. Some include:

  • Soybeans
  • Grain
  • Scrap metal
  • Paper
  • Resins
  • Frozen poultry
  • U.S.-manufactured automobiles
  • Raw-baled cotton
  • Alternative fuels

How do you plan to keep an eye on new trade developments to China? PIERS offers comprehensive coverage of U.S. waterborne exports to China.  Register for a free demo and a solutions expert will show you how PIERS trade intelligence can assist your business.

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