International Trade Report: Metro- Chattanooga & Company- Komatsu

Chattanooga Metropolitan area is ranked 97th in the United States with a population of a little over half a million inhabitants (1).  Chattanooga’s exports have almost doubled over the last half-dozen years; rising from $540 million in 2005 to $504 million during the first six months of 2010 (2).

As the accompanying chart illustrates, Machinery and Chemical Manufacturing represented the lion’s share of recent exports with $144 million (28.6%) and $138 million (27.4%) respectively (2).

The APEC countries (3) were the largest recipients of Chattanooga’s exports with almost $350 million followed by neighboring NAFTA countries (Mexico & Canada) (2).  Chattanooga does very little trade with either the EU (European Union) or Africa (less than 20% of the total).

Looking closer at Chattanooga’s trading profile reveals a more granular perspective (4).  First off, one of the top noted product categories is Toys (Harmonized Code 950390) for both import and export activity.   On the import side, we also see furniture (HS 9403), auto parts (HS 870899) and machine parts (HS 848590).  On the export side, electrical parts for machinery (HS 854800), Food Stuffs (HS 210690) and Heavy Construction Equipment led the way.

On the receiving side, Chattanooga’s imports from China, Germany and England flow primarily from Ports of Savannah, Charleston and Los Angeles.  On the export side Chattanooga primarily utilizes Florida ports for its shipping requirements.  The trade intelligence application (Prospects) (4) lists 325 importers including 133 companies for which there is detailed information on their specific shipments.

A review of these importers reveals that Komatsu is (by far) the leader of the pack with $670 million dollars of imports over the last 12 months.  In fact, as the chart below indicates, the next nine ranked importers don’t equal Komatsu’s trade total.

Komatsu America ( is a manufacturer of full range Construction, Mining, and Compact Construction equipment including crushers, dozers, excavators, graders, shovels, trucks and wheel loaders.

Komatsu America operates a network of 12 facilities in US and Canada dedicated to the manufacture, marketing, financing and distribution of equipment and parts for the North American market.  Chattanooga is the home for one of its primary manufacturing plants with hundreds of distribution points throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Not surprisingly, most of Komatsu’s $670 million imports ($609 million of it) came from Japan in 5,630 shipments (of the 5,983 total) through the eastern ports of Savannah and Baltimore.  The primary product they shipped in (declared value over $170 million) was HS Code 842959- Mechanical shovels, excavators and shovel loaders. It represented 28% (1,724) of import shipments totaling 38,863 metric tons.

Comprehensive detail of Komatsu’s last 5,983 shipments for the last 12 months is available for download via the Google Docs site.  Download complete Shipment detail here.

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