The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


Commissioner William Doyle’s Statement on U.S. Exports in 2012

April 23, 2013

Exports in 2012 Continue to Increase post-2008 Recession

The shipboard carriage of containerized exports from the United States continued to grow in 2012 based on data from Port Import/Export Reporting Service (PIERS) reviewed by the Federal Maritime Commission. In addition, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the total merchandise exports from all 50 states helped contribute to the record-setting value of goods and services exported in 2012, which reached $2.2 trillion. This is an improvement from 2011.

Nationally, jobs supported by exports increased to 9.8 million in 2012, up 1.3 million since 2009. Notably, President Obama’s goal is to add two million export-supported jobs by the end of 2014. As a point of reference, the President announced the National Export Initiative in his 2010 State of the Union address.

Furthermore, for the second successive year, more than 12 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of international containerized oceanborne cargo moved out of U.S. ports in 2012. As a percentage, U.S. containerized exports carried by ship were 13.6 percent above 2009 and 4.7 percent above pre-recession 2008 levels.

In looking at the overall state levels, eleven (11) states achieved double-digit export growth in 2012 as compared to 2011. Those states include: New Mexico, Arkansas, Nevada, North Dakota, West Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, Louisiana, Michigan, Colorado, and Kentucky. Particularly noticeable, New Mexico increased its export sales to Israel by 193 percent and Arkansas increased its exports to France by 117 percent. Additionally, Colorado increased its exports to Brazil by 63 percent and to Turkey by 20 percent, while West Virginia increased its exports to South Korea by 61 percent. These states demonstrate definitive export growth.

Nationwide, 2012 U.S. merchandise exports to countries with which the United States has a trade agreement continued to outpace other markets. This included exports to: Oman, Panama, Costa Rica, Chile, Jordan, Colombia, Australia, Peru and Mexico.

Going forward, we need to keep in mind the importance of making sure the requisite equipment is in place to allow U.S. manufacturers and farmers to transport their goods to our seaports for carriage overseas.

For reference, PIERS identified the top-10 carriers of containerized exports for 2012, in order, below:

  • Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
  • Maersk Line
  • APL
  • Evergreen Line
  • Hapag-Lloyd
  • CMA CGM Group
  • Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL)
  • Hanjin Shipping
  • Hyundai Merchant Marine Company (Hyundai)
  • Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line)