Using 2005 as a base year, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports that U.S. net coal exports increased 70 percent in 2007, 107 percent in 2008, 71 percent in 2010 and 49 percent in 2011. (In 2009, the year of the market meltdown, exports fell by a relatively restrained 23 percent.)
Yet Americans themselves are consuming less coal - 5 percent less in the past decade. As U.S. electrical producers shift from cheap coal to cheap natural gas, more coal will be released for export to other countries (where demand for coal increased by almost 50 percent in the same decade, the energy equivalent of 23 million barrels of oil a day). Already the world's fourth-largest coal exporter, after Australia, Indonesia and Russia, the U.S. could plausibly become the world's largest exporter in coming years. The United States possesses more coal reserves, after all, than any other country.
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Keywords: international trade, 3PL, global logistics, third party logistics, U.S. coal production and exports, U.S. energy exports
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