U.S. Containerized Imports Grew 3 Percent in 2011 Year Ends on Upturn, Expansion in Home Sales Market Vital for Sustained Growth, Cautions Economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. containerized imports closed 2011 with a surge, with goods related to the recovering housing and auto markets pushing inbound volume up 3 percent year-over-year in December, according to figures from The Journal of Commerce/PIERS.

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The growth marked a rebound from weakness earlier in the fall and lifted containerized imports for the year up 3 percent over 2010 and 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter over the same period last year. The Journal of Commerce/PIERS Economist Mario O. Moreno remains cautious in his outlook for 2012, despite the late-year growth.

A pick-up in sales of existing homes supported a 5 percent upswing (to 144,679 20-foot equivalent units) in U.S. furniture imports. Growth in the manufacturing sector also pushed auto parts imports up 19 percent, driving December increases in imports from Germany and Mexico. Requests for the import or return from Mexico of empty containers, for U.S. export and domestic use, rose by 264 percent.

"The overall economy continues to recover in a stubbornly slow fashion, which makes it highly vulnerable to shocks," Moreno said. "The auto industry cannot by itself sustain the import trade, but a steady, self-sustained recovery in home sales is decidedly required to support growth going forward." Moreno's 2012 container imports forecast remains cautiously at 2.5 to 3.5 percent, despite fourth quarter data above his earlier predictions.

On a month-over-month basis, overall U.S. containerized imports fell 11.7 percent in December.

A full analysis of the JOC/PIERS findings is available online at www.joc.com.

To become a member of The Journal of Commerce click here. JOC members have access to our weekly print and digital magazine and Web site, as well as a 10 percent discount on all JOC events and trade shows, UBM Global Trade Directories and select PIERS products. Authoritative editorial content in the form of daily news, weekly analysis and regular features ensure our members have the information and data necessary to understand the issues facing trucking, rail and maritime transportation. Members enjoy access to "By the Numbers," an exclusive weekly compilation of key industry statistics that provides detailed views of current market trends across all modes. Regular market intelligence reports -- utilizing PIERS trade data -- include Top 100 Imports and Exporters, quarterly Top 40 Container lines, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Maritime Forecasts and Top Container Ports and Terminals. Market-sector supplements, including Breakbulk, Cool Cargoes, 3PL, JOC Guide to Trucking and others, ensure all modes are comprehensively covered. 

About PIERS -- PIERS is the most comprehensive database of U.S. waterborne trade activity in the world providing information services to thousands of subscribers globally. Launched more than 35 years ago, PIERS was the first venture in digital global trade intelligence and quickly became the industry standard for accuracy, reliability and insight. Our unique infrastructure and proprietary technology allow us to not only publish import data but also complete coverage of U.S. export transactional data. PIERS is a division of UBM Global Trade, and a sister company of The Journal of Commerce.  For more information, visit www.piers.com, or call 800-952-3839 (+1-973-776-8660).

About UBM Global Trade -- UBM Global Trade is the leading provider of proprietary data, news, business intelligence and analytical content supporting commercial maritime, rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics industries worldwide. The company's portfolio of more than 100 online, print and interactive workflow business solutions includes The Journal of Commerce, Breakbulk, RailResource, PIERS and an array of international trade and transportation databases and directories. UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of UBM plc, is headquartered in Newark, NJ, with offices throughout the United States. For more information, explore www.ubmglobaltrade.com or call 800-223-0243 (+1-973-848-7250 outside the U.S. or Canada).  

SOURCE UBM Global Trade



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