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EDITOR'S LETTER The Journal of Commerce (USPS 279 – 060), ISSN 1530-7557, June 1, 2015, Volume 16, Issue No. 11. The Journal of Commerce is published bi-weekly except the last week in December (printed 26 times per year) by JOC Group Inc. 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105. Subscription price: $344 a year. Periodicals postage paid at Newark, N.J., and additional mailing offices. © All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The Journal of Commerce, Subscription Services Department, 2 Penn Plaza East, Floor 12, Newark, N.J. 07105-2257. ©2015 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our website, JUNE 1.2015 TOP 100 IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS Chris Brooks HEADING EAST ANYONE WHO KNOWS Jim Newsome knows he's as competitive as they come. But the CEO of the South Caro- lina Ports Authority also knows that competition is healthy. So whether it's the raising of the Bayonne Bridge to give mega-vessels access to marine terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey or efforts to improve gate efficiency in Virginia, it's all good for Jim. That's because for Charleston and other East Coast ports to grow, the Eastern Seaboard must attract the big- ger vessels that will begin to flood the market when the Panama Canal opens its expanded locks a year from now. Thanks to the months of conges- tion resulting from the protracted and bitter West Coast port labor talks, East Coast ports — and those on the Gulf, for that matter — are well on their way to the kind of growth they've been competing with each other for over the decade since the Panama Canal project was announced. The latest numbers reveal the extent to which East and Gulf Coast ports have benefited from the West Coast strife: Containerized imports in the first four months of this year jumped 14 percent on the East Coast and 21 percent in the Gulf, while declining 5 percent through the West Coast, according to PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Maritime & Trade. Individually, imports increased a staggering 45 percent in Savannah, 26 percent at Houston, 16 percent at New York-New Jersey and 14 percent at Charleston, the data show. But with portside congestion finally ebbing out west, the key will be how much of those gains East and Gulf Coast ports will retain. Anec- dotal evidence suggests at least a moderate amount, as shippers increas- ingly accept longer transit times in exchange for reliability. "I am going to seriously study whether to come in all- water through the Port of New York or Norfolk," Pat Moffett, vice president of international logistics at electronics importer VOXX International, told Editor-at-Large Peter Leach in May. "There's always something (on the West Coast). When you don't have the longshoremen thing, you've got the truckers strike in Long Beach." Another importer long captive to the West Coast and its recent conges- tion definitely is heading east. "We weren't set up for an east-to-west flow," the importer said, "(but) last year pushed us over the fence, and we're pouring concrete in Georgia right now." Newsome suggested that less than 20 percent of cargo coming into the U.S. today is transit-sensitive — that is, it must reach destination within a given window. Still, congestion isn't restricted to the west. East Coast ports, especially New York-New Jersey and Virginia, have their own mountains to climb, even more so with the West Coast diversions and shipping's peak sea- son right around the corner. So as much as Newsome wel- comes the Bayonne Bridge project and other initiatives, he worries about the fallout from long truck lines and low productivity. "When we see port problems to the north, that concerns us," he told a group of Journal of Commerce editors during a visit to JOC offices in mid-May. The message, and he knows it as well as the West Coast ports that are experiencing it, is that shippers and carriers have options. Gone are the days of West Coast import domination. Indeed, the West Coast's share of con- tainerized U.S. imports dipped below 50 percent in the first four months of this year, according to PIERS. That compared to 55 percent in 2012 and nearly 70 percent at historical highs. Cargo, in other words, will flow to the path of least resistance. Unfor- tunately, outside a few notable ports such as Savannah and Charleston, the path of least resistance is an unpredictable one, at best. JOC EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND JOC EVENTS Chris Brooks 973.776.7818 MANAGING EDITOR Barbara Wyker 973.776.7817 EXECUTIVE EDITOR, JOC.COM Mark Szakonyi 202.872.1234 SENIOR EDITORS Joseph Bonney, Finance and Economics 973.776.7809 William B. Cassidy, Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202.872.1228 Bill Mongelluzzo, Trans-Pacific 562.428.5999 Greg Knowler, Asia +852 3975 2647 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Reynolds Hutchins 202.572.1487 EDITOR-AT-LARGE Peter T. Leach, Trans-Atlantic 212.755.0940 RESEARCH EDITOR Marsha Salisbury 973.776.7828 ECONOMIST Mario O. Moreno 973.776.7850 TRADE ANALYST, JOC.COM Keith Bucco 973.368.3552 SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Alessandra Gregory Barrett 860.248.5238 SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR, ASIA Annie Zhu +86 (21) 60396986 SENIOR DESIGNER Sue Abt, 973.776.7825 DESIGNER Bryan Boyd, 973.776.7827 PUBLISHER Tony Stein 770.295.8809, SALES Cindy Cronin, Strategic Account Manager Southeast, Gulf, Canada sales, 954.551.8305 Zachary Gorman, Account Executive Northeast sales, Classifieds/Reprints/Copyrights 973.776.7820 Jennifer Mallinger, Account Executive Midwest, West Coast sales, 630.210.6827 Ria Van den Bogaert, Sales Representative Europe, Middle East sales, +32 2 569 8905 Bon Kwok, Sales Representative Asia sales, +852 31707373 Michihiro Kawahara, Sales Representative Japan sales, +81 3 3212 3671 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105 973.776.8660 • 800.952.3839 CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Gavin Carter CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, Rhiannon James CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER, Peter Tirschwell CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, Ian Blackman VP, PUBLICATIONS, Amy Middlebrook VP, HUMAN RESOURCES, Cindy Mevorah GENERAL MANAGER, Julia Murphy DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION, Carmen Verenna SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER, Jesse Case

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