November Decline in US Imports Approaches 2019 Levels: Descartes

November Decline in US Imports Approaches 2019 Levels: Descartes

Disruptions challenge global supply chain performance going into 2023

Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, released its November report on the ongoing global shipping crisis and for logistics and supply chain professionals.

The report shows that November US container import volumes declined to close to November 2019 levels. Port delays continue to decrease, but major East and Gulf Coast ports still have extended wait times versus major West Coast ports.

Key economic indicators during this period paint a conflicting picture about their impact on future import volumes and, combined with COVID, the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the West Coast labor situation, continue to point to further disruptions and challenging global supply chain performance going into 2023.

November 2022 US container import volumes declined 12.0% from October to 1,954,179 TEUs (see Figure 1).

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Versus November 2021, TEU volume was down 19.4%, and only 2.8% higher than pre-pandemic November 2019.

Note that November is a shorter month (30 days) and contains the US Thanksgiving holiday, both of which can negatively impact container import volumes.

Chris Jones, EVP Industry & Services at Descartes said: “Comparing fall imports in 2022 to the previous six years, November would have been expected to be lower than October (see Figure 2); however, November 2022 had the greatest October-to-November decline since 2016 at 12%.

“The November U.S. container import data reaffirms that the pressure on supply chains and logistics operations has begun to lift, but there are still a number of issues that may cause further disruptions in 2023.”

The December report is Descartes’ seventeenth installment since beginning its analysis in August 2021.

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