ATLANTA, Georgia, June 12, 2023 – Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, released a study that evaluates how the market share of top imports from China into the U.S. has changed over the last seven years. A number of factors have caused many companies to announce 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? The study Descartes Global Shipping Report: China – U.S. Trade Shift: Where Did the Market Share Go or Did It? investigates the top import commodity groups and countries of origin (CoO) to provide insight into shifting trading patterns.
“The analysis shows that China has been slowly losing its share of U.S. container import volume but remains the dominant CoO for many of the top 10 commodity groups imported by the U.S., even as countries in South and Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, India, Thailand and Indonesia, have quickly built capacity in a number of goods categories,” said Chris Jones, EVP Industry at Descartes. “Descartes’ report provides insight into the share of volume that has shifted away from China, where it went in terms of other CoOs and how the story differs across the top commodity groups.”
To help importers understand the shifting trade landscape, Descartes analyzed the top 10 two-digit commodity categories (HS-2 digits) and their top 10 CoOs over the period of 2016–2022 to see whether China is losing market share and, if so, what countries are displacing it as a top U.S. trading partner. The analysis paints a different picture depending upon the commodity group.
For example, for HS-94 (furniture, bedding, lighting, etc.), Chinese imports into the U.S. grew 4.7% by volume in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) over the seven-year period, but its share shrunk by 17.3% (see Figure 1). The Chinese share was negatively affected by rising imports from a string of other countries, notably Vietnam, that collectively increased volume much more significantly. Individually, these countries’ volumes are much smaller than China’s but the collective shift to them dampened China’s overall volume growth and pushed its market share into negative territory. This underscores that U.S. businesses are learning to adopt a multi-country strategy sourcing strategy that still includes China.
Figure 1: Top 10 Country of Origin Analysis for HS-94 (Furniture, bedding, lighting, etc.)
Source: Descartes Datamyne™
Descartes is the global leader in providing on-demand, software-as-a-service solutions focused on improving the productivity, security and sustainability of logistics-intensive businesses. Customers use our modular, software-as-a-service solutions to route, track and help improve the safety, performance and compliance of delivery resources; plan, allocate and execute shipments; rate, audit and pay transportation invoices; access global trade data; file customs and security documents for imports and exports; and complete numerous other logistics processes by participating in the world’s largest, collaborative multimodal logistics community. Our headquarters are in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and we have offices and partners around the world. Learn more at www.descartes.com, and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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