ATLANTA, Georgia, April 18, 2023 -- Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, indicated in its monthly Descartes’ Global Shipping Report that over one million import container TEUs moved away from the West Coast ports* annually, and the biggest beneficiary of the shift in import volumes was the Gulf Coast ports.  

“Shifts in container import volumes from West Coast ports are top of mind again with the protracted ILWU-PMA contract negotiations,” said Chris Jones, EVP Industry at Descartes. “Descartes’ Global Shipping Report provides insight into how much volume has shifted away from the West Coast ports, where it went, and what were the countries of origin and top commodities that left.”

Descartes analyzed U.S. container import volumes (TEUs) in the first three months of 2019 compared to the first three months of 2023 for insights into the shift away from the West Coast ports. Overall U.S. import container volumes (see Figure 1) are extremely close (0.19% difference) for the first three months of both years, which allows for a reasonable comparison.

Figure 1: U.S. container import volumes (TEUs) for the first 3 months of 2019 and 2023

U.S. container import volumes for the first 3 months of 2019 and 2023

Source: Descartes Datamyne™

Comparing the first quarter of 2023 to 2019, it is quite evident that there was a significant shift. The West Coast container outflow is quite close to the East and Gulf Coasts container inflow. If we extrapolate the Q1 data over twelve months, the calculation would show that over one million containers moved away from the West Coast ports annually starting in 2021. This also considers March 2023’s significant reversal of the decline in volume that occurred at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

To learn more, read Descartes Global Shipping Report: Over 1M TEUs Have Shifted from West Coast Ports

 *Data in this report is based on all West, East and Gulf Coast ports.

About Descartes

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, and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Global Media Contact

Cara Strohack
Tel: +1(800) 419-8495 ext. 202025 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”) that relate to Descartes’ solution offerings and potential benefits derived therefrom; and other matters. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the factors and assumptions discussed in the section entitled, “Certain Factors That May Affect Future Results” in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Ontario Securities Commission and other securities commissions across Canada including Descartes’ most recently filed management’s discussion and analysis. If any such risks actually occur, they could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In that case, the trading price of our common shares could decline, perhaps materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purposes of providing information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. We do not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, except as required by law.