Welcome to the eighth instalment 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’ll take 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.
The series will count down monthly until we analyze the top U.S. inbound NVO in December. 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 will be updated monthly so that each NVO will be examined based on the most recent 12-month period – in this case, the period between Aug. 1, 2011 through July 31, 2012.
This month, we’ll examine Orient Express Container Co., a Taipei based NVO founded in 1981.
In the latest 12-month period, OEC moved 207,552 TEUs on U.S. inbound trades, a 2.1 percent increase on the preceding 12 month-period. It’s noteworthy that OEC’s volume over the latest 12-month period was lower than the volume of the No. 5 NVO on our list, Apex Shipping, in its July 2011-through-June 2012 period. As a reminder, this list is based purely on 2011 calendar year volume.
Monthly volumes for OEC have been remarkably consistent over the past year, falling within a band of 14,991 TEUs in October to 19,888 TEUs in May (save for the shorter February, when volume dipped slightly below 14,000 TEUs).
Like most of the other NVOs American Shipper has analyzed, OEC is quite dependent on cargo from China. More than three quarters (76.2 percent) of the company’s volume originates in China, with another 6.7 percent coming from Taiwan. With another collective 8.2 percent coming from Indonesia and Vietnam, more than 91 percent of OEC’s inbound U.S. volume is derived from four nations.
Little surprise, given its reliance on the transpacific trade, that one in four containers OEC handles goes to the Port of Long Beach. Another 19.4 percent goes to Los Angeles, meaning more than 40 percent of OEC’s volume goes via a Southern California port. However, the Port of New York/New Jersey is actually OEC’s second most used port for U.S. inbound shipments, with 20.7 percent of its volume arriving there.
Another 6.5 percent goes to Oakland, while Seattle is the fifth most common destination for OEC cargo, with 4.2 percent of its U.S. inbound volume. Miami, Savannah, Norfolk, Tacoma, and Charleston round out the top 10 for OEC volume.
As for which carriers OEC primarly uses most frequently for U.S. inbound shipments, the company has three primary container lines – Hanjin Shipping, CMA CGM, and Mediterranean Shipping Co.
Hanjin and CMA CGM have had the largest slices of OEC volume over the past year, with a 17.7 and 17.6 percent share respectively. MSC’s handles around 14.8 percent of OEC’s inbound volume. Then comes OOCL (10.3 percent), APL (7.3 percent), MOL (6.7 percent), and Maersk Line (6.3 percent), with “K” Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine and NYK Line rounding out the top 10.