Posts Tagged ‘PIERS’

Spring Flowering Bulbs

April 4, 2013

Bulbs are self-contained little packages of power that will reward the grower with years of floral satisfaction!


The United States has long been the biggest customer of flower bulbs from the Netherlands, over half of the exported flower bulbs are tulips; followed by gladioli, daffodils and hyacinths – accounting for almost 4,500 TEUs of flower bulb imports into the U.S. The Netherlands remains the center of production for the European floral market, as well as a major international supplier to other continents. The official start of tulip season in Amsterdam is January, running until the end of April. The Netherlands has the largest production area with 10,800 hectares, accounting for the many thousands of tulip variants in every color, which find their way into vases around the world.

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 and the companies trading. Register online for a demo.


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.

JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: Furniture Exports Expand

March 26, 2013

U.S. exports of furniture rose for the 18th straight month through November on a year-over-year basis as demand from major markets continued and the U.S. dollar remained competitive. Exports advanced 8.1% year-over-year in November 2012 over November 2011 and totaled $879.6 million (deflated to January 2009 prices) in the month. Through November, exports were up by 12% and totaled $9.5 billion.

U.S. Furniture Exports 2010-2012

Canada is by far the largest market for U.S. furniture (H.S. code 94) exports, accounting for a 51.5% share in 2012 through November, up 0.3% from 2010. Exports to that market year-to-date were up 10 percent, a similar growth seen in 2011.Mexico is the second-largest market, accounting for a 51.5% share year-to-date, up notoriously by nearly 3 percentage points from 2010. Exports to that market were up 27% year-to-date, higher than the 20% growth seen in 2011. Other markets gaining share in the last three years were Germany, Australia and Venezuela.

The fifth-largest market, China, has seen its market share marginally decline in recent years as the economy decelerated but has maintained a double-digit growth demand for U.S. furniture. Wealthy Chinese believe in the quality and design of U.S.-made products, which explains why some U.S. furniture companies are strengthening business relationships in China. Ethan Allen’s CEO said in a recent WSJ interview that the company’s partner Markhor Furniture in China will increase the number of stores that carry Ethan Allen products to at least 100 within a year, up from 77. Demand from the United Kingdom has strengthened markedly in 2012 but not enough to gain market share.

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be obtained by subscribing to JOC Insights or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

PIERS is the only source for transaction-level U.S. export data. To learn more about PIERS export data, visit

Now Welcoming…the Spanish Avocado

March 21, 2013

Avocados are everywhere; in commercials, discussed on health conscious websites, they are even popping up in fast food restaurants as burger garnishing. No longer just a seasonal fruit, avocados are available in the U.S. all year thanks to global trade. Although the U.S. is a major producer of avocados from California and Florida crops, it is also a major importer from countries such as Chile, the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Well recognized for quality, Spanish Hass avocados are known as one of the best avocados in Europe. Until recently though, Spanish Hass avocados were not permitted into the U.S. for fear of introducing new plant pests, particularly the Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Numerous studies conducted by American scientists concluded that the Hass cultivar, grown in Spain’s mainland, is not a carrier of the insect. Avocado batches not of the Hass variety will have to be treated for Mediterranean Fruit Fly control before they ship to the U.S. and shipments will need a Phytosanitary Certificate, with an additional declaration indicating that the avocados have been inspected and found pest-free under the requirements.


During a briefing on the EU-US trade negotiations between the European Commission and the U.S. in February (as mentioned in a previous PIERS blog), were discussions regarding the changes in regulations to allow the exporting of Spanish avocados to the U.S. After over ten years of bureaucratic wrangling, it looks like America is finally about to allow the import of avocados from Spain, excluding the Balaeric Islands and Canary Islands where the Mediterranean Fruit Fly flourishes.

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 and the companies trading. Register online for a demo.

Europe’s Increasing Bilateral Relations

March 19, 2013

Taken as a single geographic entity, Europe has the largest economy – generating nearly a fifth of global output, the highest average per capita incomes and a major exporting powerhouse. Its latest economic outlook paints a disheartening picture with stagnant growth, rising unemployment and public dissatisfaction threatening to undermine the cohesion of the European Union itself. The 17-nation bloc’s economy sank further into recession in the last three months of 2012 and will shrink 0.3% in 2013, remaining in its second recession since 2009, for a year longer than originally foreseen.

EU 2

Trade has never been more important for the European Union’s economy! It’s a way to achieve growth without depleting public finances as open economies tend to grow faster than closed ones. To boost the EU’s capacity to benefit from trade, the European Commission has developed an ambitious bilateral trade agenda that fosters innovation and efficiency. Liberalizing E.U.’s world trade will foster sustainable economic, social and environmental development, creating jobs and union growth in the process.

Traditionally barriers to trade were addressed mainly through reductions in tariffs, however to create open markets in the 21st century goes beyond tariff reduction to the barriers that lie behind borders. Technical and regulatory obstacles are just as important; non-tariff barriers have sensitive cultural and social issues create additional obstacles to fair trade. Over the next two years, 90% of world demand will be generated outside the E.U.; therefore it is a key priority to open up more market opportunities for European businesses by negotiating new Free Trade Agreements with key countries. This is why the European Commission proposed an ambitious new generation of deeper, bilateral free trade agreements with key partners:

  • Canada
  • Gulf CO-operation Council (i.e. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates)
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Japan
  • Peru
  • Singapore
  • Ukraine
  • United States

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How do you plan to keep an eye on trading changes between the U.S. and the E.U. if a Fair Trade Agreement is negotiated? PIERS offers comprehensive coverage of U.S. waterborne imports from Europe and is the only company that gathers complete, detailed U.S. export information at the ports…every day.

Register for a free demo and a solutions expert will show you how PIERS trade intelligence can assist your business.

Shamrock & Ale

March 14, 2013

It’s that time of the year again. By now, you should be getting ready to dust off your “Kiss Me,  I’m Irish” t-shirt and prepping the corned beef to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Parades, events, festivities and beer…lots of beer.



Even if your Irish heritage is a bit “contrived”, no one asks questions as long as you’re wearing green. Any Irish lad or lassie will tell you that this truly is a celebration for all, just grab a beer!

March Food of the Month: Clams

March 7, 2013

Growing domestic incomes and changing lifestyles of the average consumer is fueling demand for many high value seafood commodities in Asia, creating abundant opportunities for U.S. exporters. Hong Kong remains one of the world’s largest per capita consumers of seafood and China remains the global seafood powerhouse as the largest consumer, importer, exporter and producer of seafood. According to PIERS data, the U.S. sends 40% of the clams produced to Hong Kong and 15% to China.



Looking to keep track of a specific commodity? PIERS products give you a global picture of a commodity and the companies trading it. Analyze commodity growth trends, leading producers, source suppliers and more! Click here to register for a free demo.

Mexico: Near-Shore Advantage

March 5, 2013

ImageThe winds of manufacturing continue to shift, as companies seek manufacturing sites that offer the best of all worlds: low labor costs, high quality, good infrastructure, access to markets, reduced shipping time and costs and educated, skilled work forces. In the past China excelled at providing low manufacturing and material costs, but always fell short when it came to speed to market (freight and delivery), taxes and customs duties. Mexico’s proximity to the U.S. and Latin American markets reduces freight expense and minimizes supply chain disruptions; ensuring goods make it to the market faster.

Until recently, Mexico’s economy was based on low-paying, labor-intensive industries like textiles. Now Mexico is growing in industries, like autos, aerospace, and technology with the increase in the country’s educated workforce. Manufacturing in Mexico continues to display signs of positive growth; the country posted an increase in their Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the final month of 2012.

The U.S. is Mexico’s largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 80% of their exports. Mexico’s maquiladora program makes it possible for companies to bring in components and materials duty-free, which can in turn be exported for sale to the U.S. and Canada; even Chinese companies are moving to Mexico to take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) commercial and fiscal benefits. Although the U.S. and Mexican economies have started to recover, it is still sluggish as the growth rate in Mexico is projected to slow down this year but remain at 3.5%.


US Census Data

Find new buyers for goods and services in Mexico-U.S. supply chains and new sources of supply in Mexico with PIERS Mexico Cross-border Trade Information. Contact us today to have a PIERS solutions expert show you more.

Quotes in Motion

February 28, 2013


No nation was ever ruined by trade.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

Preserve Perishables in Reefer Containers

February 26, 2013

Global trade has connected us, making it feel as if we are just a hop, skip and a jump away from different regions of the world, allowing us to gain access to distant markets. In reality the physical distance has not decreased, there is a need for atmosphere management to ensure the quality of perishable commodities.

Refrigerated cargo units (reefers) provide a regulated temperature and humidity and, in many cases, a controlled atmosphere as well.  There is very little margin for error when shipping perishable commodities – whether they be frozen, chilled or simply temperature controlled in an insulated container.  Reefer containers allow for optimum conditions of waterborne shipments of meat, pharmaceutical medications, fish, fruit, dairy produce, flowers and other perishable items serving the function of keeping cargo fresh for prolonged periods.

As stated in an earlier PIERS blog, the world is experiencing global economic growth. Regions with emerging economies (such as Asia, Africa and parts of Europe) now have a higher level of disposable income, affording higher quality foods and creating a demand for perishables products – especially animal protein, which is good news for the U.S.  Georgia is the U.S. leader in the export of poultry products.  Shipped in reefer cargo, Georgia’s meat industry grew by 21% in 2012, an increase of more than $220 million. Savannah is by far the leading exporter of poultry in the country, accounting for 40% of poultry exports in 2012 which explains why one of the country’s largest cold storage warehouses is moving in close proximity to the port.

2012 US Waterborne Reefer Poultry Exports

Planning to attend this year’s Trans Pacific Maritime (TPM) Conference in Long Branch, CA from March 3-6, 2013? Join us for a full day session regarding cool cargoes and the rapidly growing North American refrigerated cargo market. Topics include:

  • An overview of the U.S. reefer market
  • Slow steaming service
  • Reefer equipment management
  • FDA-proof cold chain
  • Sustainability

Can’t join us at TPM? Contact us today to have a PIERS solutions expert show you how PIERS reefer data can identify refrigerated cargo. We can also tell you the consignee, shipper, carrier name, commodity and more.

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