Welcome to the 12th and final installment of American Shipper’s yearlong countdown of the top 12 non-vessel-operating common carriers for U.S. inbound containerized cargo.
Using data provided to American Shipper by the trade intelligence firm Zepol Corp., we’ve taken a closer look at each of these companies in terms of where their cargo originates, where in the United States it’s destined, which liner carriers they use, and how their volumes have trended quarter to quarter.
Data is derived from Zepol’s database, which uses U.S. Customs data direct from carrier bills of lading as they are entered in the Automated Manifest System.
The top 12 U.S. inbound NVOs for this series were determined based on their total volume in 2011, though the statistics provided by Zepol were updated monthly, so that each NVO was examined based on the most recent 12-month period – in this final case, the period between Dec. 1, 2011 through Nov. 30, 2012.
This month, we’ll examine Expeditors, the Seattle-based company that maintains a dominant share of U.S. inbound trade among NVOs, particularly to the U.S. West Coast.
Expeditors handled 382,269 TEUs in the last 12 months, down 6.4 percent from its calendar year volume in 2011, when Expeditors handled more than double that of third-placed Phoenix International and 30 percent more than second-placed Blue Anchor Line.
The company’s dominance on inbound volumes to the U.S. West Coast is clear: in the last 12 months, Expeditors had more volume through Long Beach and Los Angeles alone than all but the top six NVOs had to all U.S. ports.
The company saw volume of 96,309 TEUs at Los Angeles and 81,092 TEUs at Long Beach, far and away its two most used ports. Those two accounted for a collective 46.4 percent of its total volume in the last 12 months, followed by New York/New Jersey at 11 percent, Tacoma at 10.9 percent, Norfolk at 6 percent, Seattle at 5.8 percent, and Savannah at 4.8 percent.
But the relatively small percentage of Expeditors’ volume moving ports outside of Southern California belies how much cargo the company still moves through those ports. The company moved nearly 55,000 TEUs through Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah alone in the last 12 months.
As for which nations Expeditors’ cargo is originating from, China is the largest source, at 56.5 percent. While Expeditors’ reliance on cargo from China is higher than that of the European-based NVOs (who typically have one-third to 40 percent of cargo originating in China), it is much lower than some of the smaller Asia-to-U.S-focused NVOs profiled earlier in this series.