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July 07, 2014

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54 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE JULY 7.2014 TRANS-PACIFIC CARRIERS AND PORTS SPECIAL REPORT THE U.S.-ASIA OCEAN container trade increased 2.7 percent to 20 million 20-foot-equivalent units in the 12 months end- ing March 2014 compared with the prior 12-month period, according to data from PIERS, the data division of JOC Group. U.S. exports advanced 2.1 percent to 6.8 million TEUs, while U.S. imports, which make up 65.9 percent of the trade, rose 2.9 percent to 13.2 million TEUs. Here are five other things you need to know about U.S.-Asia containerized trade. Q: WHO IS the top ocean carrier in this trade? Who is on the growth track? Top-ranked Maersk Line, the world's largest container ship operator in terms of capacity, held 10 percent of the export trade on the strength of 2 percent growth in volume, and a 10.3 percent share of imports despite a 2.2 percent decline in volume from the prior 12-month period. France's CMA CGM Group was the fastest-growing Top 10 U.S. export carrier, with growth spiking 11.8 percent. Taiwan's Evergreen was the fastest-growing Top 10 U.S. import car- rier, with growth up 10.3 percent. Q: WHO ARE growth leaders among countries and ports? Mainland China retained its ranking as the largest U.S. trading partner, accounting for 64.8 percent of container- ized U.S. imports and 44.8 percent of exports during the 12-month period. Mainland China was the fastest-growing Asian destination for U.S. exports, up 10.3 percent, but Viet- nam loaded 9.4 percent more U.S.-bound cargo than during the prior 12 months. Shenzhen and Shanghai, Asia's two larg- est load ports in the U.S. trade, handled 5.4 million TEUs, 40.7 percent of the import trade in the period, up 2.3 percent from the prior 12-month period. Qingdao, China, was the fastest- growing Asian port in the country's trade with the U.S., spiking 22.5 percent growth in U.S.-origin cargo and loading 14.3 per- cent more U.S.-destination cargo than in the prior 12 months. Q: HOW ARE the trans-Pacific gateway ports on San Pedro Bay faring? Los Angeles-Long Beach handled 41.8 percent, or 2.8 mil- lion TEUs, of U.S. exports shipped to Asia in the 12-month period, up 1.9 percent from the prior 12 months. The two ports handled 53.5 percent, or 7.1 million TEUs, of the import trade, up 3.1 percent. Among the Top 10 U.S. ports, the fastest grow- ing port was Virginia, with a jump of 16.1 percent in U.S. exports trade with the Asian region and 14.6 percent in U.S. imports. Q: HAS TRADE growth been steady? U.S. container trade with the Asian region range struggled with a 1.4 percent gain year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014, as U.S. exports tumbled 2.7 percent and U.S. imports gained 3.7 percent. Overall trade growth for the 12 months ending March 2014, however, was 2.7 percent. Q: WHAT DO other data perspectives tell us about the U.S.-Asia container trade? The following charts also rank the containerized U.S. West Coast trans-Pacific trade via Asian ports in the 12 months through March 2014. This trade inched ahead just 0.8 percent from the previous 12 months, to 13.4 million TEUs, despite a 1.1 percent increase in imports to 9 million TEUs, because U.S. West Coast exports were essentially flat at 4.5 million TEUs. U.S. West Coast exports via Asian ports dropped 5.2 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014 while imports inched ahead 1.2 percent and overall trade slipped 1.1 percent. JOC Contact Marsha Salisbury at and follow her on Twitter: @MarshSalisbury. STEADY AS IT GROWS? Imports garner biggest piece of market and growth in expanding U.S.-Asia container trade By Marsha Salisbury This article and the charts that follow are based on data drawn on June 30 from PIERS, the data division of JOC Group. Actual numbers may have changed since then.

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