The Global Shipping Resource Center


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Descartes Datamyne graph comparing U.S. import volumes year-over-year 2019-2024

Source: Descartes Datamyne™

Record High U.S. Container Imports

Updated monthly, this Resource Center provides the latest trade data and insights from Descartes Datamyne™

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Thought Leadership Resources


View the resources below to learn how Descartes Thought Leaders are providing operational strategies to help mitigate the impact of supply chain disruptions.

JULY 2024

The Descartes July 2024 update of logistics metrics show that in June 2024, U.S. container import volumes declined 2.1% from May 2024 while gaining 10.4% compared to the same month last year, continue a trend of import growth in 2024 when compared to 2023.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report - May 2024 U.S. Container Import Volumes Increase by 6% from April and Continues to Show Strong Growth in 2024.
JUNE 2024

U.S. container import volumes continue to show robust growth in May 2024 compared to the same time last year, while port transit delays continue to improve across the board. Despite strong U.S. imports performance,  the logistics metrics Descartes is tracking shows signs that global supply chain risks remain high due to Panama and Suez canal issues, labor negotiations, and geopolitical conflict. Read the article for more.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report – In April 2024 U.S., U.S. imports increase 3.0% from March, while gaining 9.3% year-over-year.
MAY 2024

The Descartes May 2024 update of logistics metrics show that in April 2024, U.S. container import volumes grew 3.0% from March 2024 while gaining 9.3% compared to the same month last year, proving that the economy remains strong in the face of global instability.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report – In March 2024 U.S., U.S. imports increase 0.4% from February, while growing 15.7% year-over-year
APRIL 2024

The Descartes April 2024 update of logistics metrics show that in March 2024, U.S. container import volumes increased 0.4% from February, but jumped 15.7% when compared to the same month last year, indicating exceptional performance for the first quarter of the year.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report – In February 2024 U.S., despite a 6% drop in U.S. imports, year-over-year imports surge by 23.3%
MARCH 2024

February import volume shrank by 6% from the month before, but it was higher by 23% year on year. The trendlines are hard to decipher, but Descartes analysis factored in the Chinese Lunar New Year and determined growth was more likely to be 13%.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report – In January 2024 U.S. import volumes increase, driven by Chinese imports.
FEBUARY 2024

The Descartes February 2024 update of logistics metrics show that in January 2024, Chinese imports drove considerable growth in U.S. container import volumes. Growing by 7.9% from December 2023, this is the largest month-to-month growth for January in the past 7 years.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report – In December 2023 U.S. import volumes increase while port transit times increase
JANUARY 2024

The Descartes January 2024 update of logistics metrics shows that in December 2023, U.S. import volume increased slightly from November, with regional variations and port delays at Gulf Coast ports. 2024 faces headwinds in the face of upcoming labor negotiations and persistent conditions at the Panama and Suez Canals.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report – In November 2023 the global supply chain stalls, U.S. container imports drop, and Chinese imports continue a downward trend.
DECEMBER 2023

The Descartes December 2023 update of logistics metrics shows that in November 2023, U.S. container import volume decreased 9% from October 2023, with East and Gulf Coast ports experiencing the greatest declines.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report – October 2023 U.S. Container Import Volumes Accelerate, Diverging Significantly from Pre-Pandemic 20219 Trend
NOVEMBER 2023

U.S. import volumes rose in October 2023 for the second straight month, further diverging from the pre-pandemic trend followed for most of this year.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report - September 2023 U.S. Container Import Volumes Increase Slightly from August, Breaking from Traditional Fall Decline
OCTOBER 2023

The October 2023 update of the logistics metrics Descartes is tracking shows some deviation from 2019 results. September 2023 import volumes broke the trend of importers winding down shipment volumes for the remainder of the year and had a modest increase over August 2023.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report - August 2023 U.S. Container Import Volumes Increase Slightly from July and Continue to Track 2019 Performance
SEPTEMBER 2023

U.S. container import volumes show a very modest increase in August 2023 compared to July, while port transit times remained close to their lowest levels since the pandemic. The September update of the logistics metrics Descartes is tracking shows signs that key challenges to the global supply chain have stabilized.

Descartes Datamyne Global Shipping Report - July U.S. Container Import Volumes Increase and Continue to Track 2019 Performance
AUGUST 2023

Compared to June 2023, U.S. container import volumes increased by 5.1%. But despite this rise, port transit times remained close to their lowest levels since Descartes began tracking them.

Growth in Mexico’s Exports to U.S. and the Rising Importance of Chinese Goods Supporting It
JULY 2023

Mexico has moved to the forefront of global sourcing conversations. How far they come in this round of trade shifts as a top country of origin for the U.S. and how are Chinese goods supporting that growth?

June U.S. Container Import Volumes Decrease from May, but Pull Ahead of 2019 Performance
JULY 2023

U.S. container import volumes decreased slightly compared to May 2023, though volumes were higher than pre-pandemic 2019. Port transit times decreased to the lowest levels since Descartes began tracking them.

China – U.S. Trade Shift: Where Did the Market Share Go or Did It?
JUNE 2023

Many companies have announced plans to find additional or alternate sources to China, but it remains the dominant non-North American trading partner with the U.S. So where are U.S. importers finding alternate sources for their goods and how far have efforts progressed?

may us container volume increase and continue tracking 2019 performance
JUNE 2023

U.S. container import volumes kept pace with pre-pandemic 2019 volumes, while port transit times increased, returning to early 2023 levels.

may 2023 strong imports from china
MAY 2023

U.S. container import volumes in April 2023 increased significantly from March 2023, while delays were reduced significantly at major ports.

april 2023 shift to west
APRIL 2023

Shifts in TEU import volumes from West Coast ports have been top of mind with the protracted ILWU contract negotiations. See how much volume shifted and where it went.

top west coast ports march increase
APRIL 2023

U.S. container import volumes in March 2023 increased significantly from February 2023, which kept the trendline aligned with pre-pandemic 2019 volumes.

U.S. Container Imports on 2019 Path
MARCH 2023

U.S. container import volumes dropped 25% in February year-on-year but the metrics continue to point to supply chain challenges ahead.

january 2023 looking like 2019
FEBRUARY 2023

U.S. container import volumes in January 2023 increased and so did their alignment with 2019 volumes, continuing to point to challenging global supply chain performance in 2023.

december decline aligns with 2019
JANUARY 2023

U.S. container import volumes in December 2022 continued to close in on 2019 volumes. Port delays, meanwhile, continued to improve.

U.S. container import volumes in November declined close to volumes in November 2019.
DECEMBER 2022

U.S. container import volumes in November declined close to volumes in November 2019. Port delays, meanwhile, continued to improve, especially for West Coast ports as their import volumes are down significantly versus 2021.

NOVEMBER 2022

U.S. container import volumes in October were consistent with September while delays at most ports continued to decline.

OCTOBER 2022

Import volumes dipped closer to pre-pandemic levels, but delays remained high, especially at East and Gulf Coast ports.

SEPTEMBER 2022

The monthly record-setting streak that U.S. container import volumes have been posting since mid-2020 came to an end this August.

AUGUST 2022

Import volumes in July 2022 remained high as increased throughput from China put pressure on supply chain predictability

JULY 2022

U.S. container import volume stayed in record territory in June 2022. Managing supply chain risk remained a challenge, especially amid signs of increased port congestion & delays

JUNE 2022

Container shipments into the U.S. hit a new all-time high in May 2022, making the task of managing supply chain risk much more complicated to navigate.

MAY 2022

COVID-related shutdowns in China continue to spread, but do not appear to be having an impact on overall U.S. container import volumes.

APRIL 2022

March 2022 experienced another year-over-year record in container import volume versus 2021, as the shift of volume away from the major West Coast ports reversed itself.

MARCH 2022

The global shipping crisis carried over into another month, as February 2022 started with record year-over-year container import volumes versus 2021.

FEBRUARY 2022

There was no break in the Global Shipping Crisis as January 2022 started with record year-over-year container import volumes versus 2021.

JANUARY 2022

The new year sees continued port delays as U.S. import volumes remain at record highs.

DECEMBER 2021

November import volumes remain at records highs and port delays continue. Are new and even greater disruptions on the horizon?

NOVEMBER 2021

Through October, U.S. import volumes remain at record highs - forcing importers to take steps to mitigate the impact of international shipping delays

OCTOBER 2021

As we enter the peak shipping season, the Global Shipping Crisis is preventing retailers from having adequate inventory and forcing shoppers to face empty shelves.

SEPTEMBER 2021

A shift in how American's are spending their disposable income is having a major impact on import volumes and prolonging the Global Shipping Crisis

AUGUST 2021

Descartes' Chris Jones shares insights into the origins of the Global Shipping Crisis and offers strategies on how to handle supply chain disruptions

In the Media


Descartes experts are often sought out by the news media for insights into logistics, supply chain, and compliance issues making headlines. The following are articles in which our experts have provided their perspective to the ongoing media discussions about the Global Shipping Crisis.

GSR in the Media YahooFinance April2024
Late Lunar New Year Boosts February Cargo Volumes
February import volumes exceed expectations, elevated by China’s late break in manufacturing during the 2024 Lunar New Year.
Inside Shipping
Liner execs downplay Red Sea upside, punishing their own shares
Disruptions and the Panama Canal and in the Red Sea are dramatically increasing shipping distances.
Logistics Operators See a Shipping-Market Rebound
Logistics Operators See a Shipping-Market Rebound
Demand is growing, and freight rates are rising in a sign retailers are restocking inventories again
U.S. Container Imports Show Modest Increase to Close Out 2023
U.S. Container Imports Show Modest Increase to Close Out 2023
U.S. container import volume was up nearly 10% in December compared to the same month last year
US holiday retailers importing like it is 2019
US holiday retailers importing like it is 2019
After a spending spree on goods that began during early COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, U.S. consumer patterns are normalizing
US West Coast ports gained market share in August after labor deal -report
US West Coast ports gained market share in August after labor deal -report
U.S. West Coast ports, which reached a labor deal with their workers this summer, gained market share in August from the previous month, while their main rivals on the East Coast lost ground.
reuters us west coast ports regain lost volume competitive pressure
US West Coast ports regain lost volume as competitive pressure mounts
Some U.S. importers who shifted cargo away from West Coast ports to rival gateways over fears that labor contract talks could disrupt shipments have begun bringing some of that volume back.
Can U.S. West Coast ports get back lost TEU import volume market share?
Can U.S. West Coast ports get back lost TEU import volume market share?
Marketplace picks up on an analysis by Descartes which shows that significant TEU volume has shifted to East and Gulf Coast ports
parcel mar 23
3 Ways Descartes’ Global Shipping Report Helps Companies Make Better Logistics Decisions
Chris Jones, EVP of Industry and Services for Descartes, explains the value of looking beyond one’s supply chain to better understand how commodities and freight flow.
global trade march 23
Global Shipping Update: Modicum of Relief as Import Volumes Fall in Line with 2019 Levels
With the second quarter of 2023 on the horizon, importers and logistics service providers (LSPs) are wondering what lies ahead.
gs reuters jan 23
U.S. imports of containerized goods retreat to pre-pandemic level
U.S. imports of goods in ocean shipping containers in December fell to levels approaching those last seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report said on Tuesday.
dsg WSJournal nov 15
Imports Into Southern California’s Ports Plunged 26% in October
11/15/22 – Port of Los Angeles executive director says protracted contract negotiations are pushing importers to Gulf and East Coast gateways
gsc WSJournal oct 18
Freight Operators’ Peak Shipping Season Is Crumbling
10/18/22 – With retailers overstocked and shipping demand receding, clouds are gathering over U.S. supply chains just as demand should be growing
gsc am shipper oct 22
US imports sink in September, suffer steepest drop since 2020 lockdowns
10/10/22 – Demand for Asian goods began dropping earlier this year. This is now having a delayed — and highly negative — effect on U.S. imports.
mdm article
Why the Global Shipping Crisis Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon
3/24/22 – Supply chain issues continue to plague the industry, while persistent inflation and conflict abroad could create additional market chaos. Here's what it means for distributors.
global trade article image
Global Shipping Woes: The Saga Continues
1/24/22 – As 2022 unfolds, the pandemic-driven supply chain crunch is showing little sign of relenting.
global trade article image
Global Shipping Crisis: No Quick Fix
2/22/22 – With spring only a short time away, the shipping and logistics crisis continues to wreak havoc throughout the global supply chain.

Descartes Can Help Solve Operational Challenges Impacting Your Supply Chain


Videos and Additional Resources


Get the Essential Guide to Supply Chain Resiliency
As carriers and ports work through the global shipping crisis and the subsequent backlog, now is the time for you to invest in your supply chain resiliency.

Our essential guide has been developed to help you mitigate risks and protect your business from costly disruptions.

U.S. Supply Chain Vulnerability Analysis
U.S. Supply Chain Vulnerability Analysis
This white paper analyzes the current situation to offer a perspective into what the Biden Administration’s review could reveal, as well as provides insights to all companies – not just U.S. businesses – on how to mitigate supply chain risk.

Media Alerts


AJOT: Descartes releases December report on global shipping crisis
Supply Chain Quarterly: Descartes Releases December Report on Global Shipping Crisis
FreightComms: Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis

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