Recent International Trade Related News From PIERS Transportation

Launch of Next Generation iPad Propels Air Shipments. With the launch of the new iPad (dubbed by some tech sites as the iPad 3, although not its official name), Apple commanded air shipments causing a surge in airfreight rates, according to a BB&T Capital Markets report. Air cargo prices out of China increased 20 percent over the past week as Apple purchased space to ship its products in an increasingly capacity-strained environment, the report explained.

U.S. Containerized Imports Up for 3rd Consecutive Month, Led by Growth in Furniture, Auto Parts. Steady sales growth in both automobiles and existing homes over the last few months drove U.S. container import volumes up 4.1% in January to 1,475,608 million TEUs. This marks the 3rd consecutive month of year-over-year imports increase, and a month-over-month climb of 11%.  Adding to a continuous expansion lasting more than two years, January imports of auto parts rose 19%, while home sales spurred a 3rd straight month of increases in furniture, up 6%. The activity in the housing market bodes well for the short-term outlook of these volumes — the largest import commodity group.

Cool Cargo? Hot Data!  By 2014 container ships will transport three quarters of perishable reefer cargo as they take further market share from specialized refrigerated vessels, according to a new report by Drewry Maritime Research.  It was stated that the rise of containerized reefer shipping is depressing charter rates for refrigerated ships, which are facing a “cautious” financial outlook.  Reefer rates fell 10 percent in 2010 and are still retreating, although world trade in perishable products is increasing and demand for reefer capacity is “still healthy.” Container ships are forecast to carry some 74 percent of perishable reefer cargo by 2014, when they will provide up to 95 percent of capacity. But specialized reefer ships still have a future as niche carriers.

Slainte! A Look at Top Sources of U.S. Waterborne Beer Imports.  Before you down that mug of green beer in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, consider these figures pulled from PIERS data sources on the world’s top sources of U.S. waterborne beer imports (in TEUs).  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!

A (Razor) Sharp Idea for Gaining Competitive Intelligence. One of the world’s largest consumer brands and maker of popular men’s razor blades recently came up with a very clever and interesting way to use PIERS data for competitive intelligence.  The company suspected that one of their major competitors was getting ready to release a new razor blade in the U.S., but didn’t know what the new razor looked like or when they were planning to release the product.

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