The Journal of Commerce’s annual Top 100 U.S. Importers and Exporters ranking begins with data from PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS, and is enhanced by information gathered from other industry sources.

The figures are expressed in 20-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs, the most common measurement of containerized ocean shipping. One standard 40-foot ocean container equals two TEUs.

These lists are restricted to shippers — beneficial owners of containerized cargo that entered or exited U.S. ports by ocean vessel during 2015. The statistics don’t include shippers associations, carriers, non-vessel-operating common carriers, forwarders or brokers, third-party logistics providers, banks, or “to-order” negotiable bills of lading, or data falling under privacy strictures. International import and export cargoes moving into and out of the U.S. via air, rail or truck are not included.

In tandem with last year’s ranking and considerable industry research, the list also identifies corporate subsidiaries and strives to reflect any changes in corporate status related to mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, formal name changes or bankruptcy filings. We also identify the location of corporate headquarters and, if the global headquarters is outside the U.S., the parent company. We indicate a website if one is available and the industry sector, adding a short note about each company, often recent news or an interesting fact.

These rankings represent our best approximation of the total international oceanborne shipments by these companies and their subsidiaries. We welcome your feedback.  

 

 

News & Analysis

21 Jun 2016
Investment, divestment, mergers and acquisitions mark growth strategy of seven of the JOC's Top 100 Exporters in 2015.
Maersk and Yang Ming at Port of Tacoma
15 Jul 2013
After a strong start in the first part of this decade, the slowdown in export growth means the U.S. will not meet President Obama's goal of doubling exports by 2015 from 2009 levels.
05 Jul 2013
When the Obama administration in February 2010 announced its National Export Initiative, the U.S. was coming out of one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. Trade was surging and global container carriers suddenly were flush with billions of dollars in combined profits after losing billions the previous two years. Exports, it seemed, were well on their way to driving the U.S. economy forward.
17 Jun 2013
U.S. containerized exports could exceed imports during certain months as soon as 2016 and on an annual basis by 2020, Walter Kemmsies, chief economist at Moffatt & Nichol, told the annual meeting of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition.
04 Jun 2013
For the third straight year, ACX Pacific Northwest has been listed as the No. 1 exporter of alfalfa and grass hay in The Journal of Commerce’s Top 100 U.S. Exporters list.
U.S. scrap exports market shares - China vs. rest of the world. Source: PIERS
03 Jun 2013
U.S. containerized exports of scrap metals, plastics and paper to China have increased at a remarkable pace over the last 20 years.

Commentary

Executive Editor Chris Brooks discusses what shippers are seeing, as revealed in recent surveys.