PIERS: The Port Import/Export Reporting Service


TypeDivision of IHS Markit
IndustryInternational Trade Data
HeadquartersNew York, New York
Key people
  • Stuart Strachan, SVP, Maritime & trade, IHS Markit
  • Wael Jarous, Executive Director
  • Guy Sear, Executive Director
ProductsMaritime Data

PIERS is a solution within the Maritime & Trade division of IHS Markit. Founded in the mid-1970s, PIERS was the first venture into digital global trade intelligence.


PIERS gathers raw import Bills of Lading for all waterborne cargo vessels that enter and exit ports in the United States, sourced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Additionally, PIERS staff reporters manually collect export Bills of Lading from each port in the United States. These import and export records account for 17 million Bills of Lading collected by PIERS per year. The raw data is subsequently verified, analyzed, and synthesized with supplementary data sourced from The United Nations, United States Census, Dun & Bradstreet, and direct international country sources for use in PIERS trade intelligence tools.[1] The synthesis of these multiple data sources forms the foundation for PIERS trade intelligence resources. PIERS also provides historical records dating from 1950 to the present.[2]


PIERS trade intelligence tools are primarily used for market share and trend analysis,[3] lead generation, fraud detection, to monitor contractual compliance, and to find buyers and suppliers. PIERS provides quantitative data pertaining to commodity details,[4] including SIC and HS Codes, tonnage shipped, twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), and estimated values, as well as qualitative profiles on companies that import and export.[5] In 2010, PIERS acquired CenTradeX, a provider of online trade intelligence tools for commodity trend analysis, statistical research, and lead prospecting.[6]

PIERS serves multiple industries involved in importing and exporting, particularly the manufacturing, chemical, financial, and transportation industries, as well as several U.S. and foreign government agencies, and many ocean carriers. PIERS also periodically provides trade data for publications such as The Journal of Commerce, The New York Times,[7] The Wall Street Journal,[8] Bloomberg,[9] and CNBC.[10]


  1. ^ PIERS, "Welcome to Data in Motion!" April 6, 2011
  2. ^ Reuters, "PIERS Data Show Recession Slowing U.S. Imports and Exports" January 12, 2009
  3. ^ Michigan State University, "Statistical Data Sources" December 10, 2010
  4. ^ Research and Innovative Technology Administration, "Overview of US International Trade and Transportation Data" Archived 2011-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Journal of Commerce Online, "PIERS Adds Visualized Search Solutions to Speed Global Trade" August 25, 2010
  6. ^ London Stock Exchange, "UBM Acquires Centradex Assets for up to $644,000" Archived 2011-02-06 at the Wayback Machine May 6, 2010
  7. ^ The New York Times, "Long Pause for Japanese Industry Raises Concerns About Supply Chain", March 17, 2011
  8. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "Vital Signs," Dec 6, 2010
  9. ^ Bloomberg, "Ship Rejected in China on Radiation Heads to Japan" March 29, 2011
  10. ^ CNBC, "Two Sides of Recovery: Shipping Up, Housing Down" July 14, 2010