The Global Shipping Resource Center

Descartes' Global Trade Intelligence Solutions Equip Customers With Up-to-Date Insights Needed to Respond to the Challenges of the Global Shipping Crisis

Fig1: U.S. Container Import Volume Year-over-Year Comparison

Source: Descartes Datamyne™

Record High U.S. Container Imports

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

The Best Explanation for the Supply Chain Crisis Yet 

Descartes' CEO Ed Ryan shares insights into the global shipping crisis with Forbes

How Top-Performing Companies are Addressing the Global Shipping Crisis

Descartes recently conducted a benchmark survey and uncovered the resiliency strategies of top performing companies and how they are handling supply chain disruptions.

Get your copy of the survey results and find out key steps you can take to reduce risk and create a more resilient supply chain.

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.

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

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

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.

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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.

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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