Demand for equipment in two and out of the United States also appears to be strengthening with throughput volume at the U.S. West coast port in March growing 7.4% compared to the same month in the prior year. Additional shipping capacity is being added to the Asia to U.S. trade resulting in more of our containers being utilized for that service.
As I mentioned, we believe demand for containers will be strong in 2012. Our view is that the current high utilization of worldwide lease fleet the limited capital budgets for purchase by shipping rights and limited new container production in the second half of 2011 along with an expected containerize trade growth of 7% forecast by Clarkson Research will result in a strong demand for containers and an increase in utilization particularly in the second half of 2012.
During the first quarter of 2012 we purchased and leased out approximately $54 million of containers. We have an additional $185 million of containers on order with manufacturers of which more than $100 million is committed to be on lease with customers during the second quarter of 2012.
We expect the remainder of our new equipment order to have lease opportunities over the next several weeks resulting in a year-to-date investment level being ahead of that achieved by us during the same period in 2011. We expect prices for containers being sold into the secondary market to be firm this year, due to the rising cost of new containers and high overall utilization of equipment, and we’re looking to increase prices in some higher demand locations.I will conclude by restating that we have enjoyed strong revenue and earnings growth over the past several quarters with a relatively tight supply and factoring inventory, improved growth within the U.S. and Northern European economies and continued strong trade amongst less developed regions, we are expecting ongoing growth of our business in 2012. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com