ATLANTA, Georgia, October 10, 2023 – Descartes Systems Group (Nasdaq: DSGX) (TSX:DSG), the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, released its October Global Shipping Report for logistics and supply chain professionals. In September 2023, U.S. container import volume increased slightly compared to August 2023, which is counter to the decline that typically occurs in the last third of the year. Imports from China increased, as did the share of Chinese imports of total U.S. imports. Despite the volume increase, port transit times remained close to their lowest levels for the top West Coast ports since Descartes began tracking them. The top East and Gulf Coast ports, however, are seeing extended transit times. The Panama drought does not appear to be impacting U.S. container import volume, but transit times have increased. The October update of the logistics metrics Descartes is tracking shows some deviation from 2019 results and signs that some of the key challenges to global supply chain performance in 2023 have stabilized, but others have not.
September 2023 U.S. container import volumes increased 0.3% from August 2023 to 2,203,452 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) (see Figure 1). Versus September 2022, TEU volume was lower by 0.6%, but up 8.0% from pre-pandemic September 2019. The growth in import volume over the first nine months of 2023 is within 2.5% of the same period in 2019.
Figure 1. U.S. Container Import Volume Year-over-Year Comparison
Source: Descartes Datamyne™
“The September increase in U.S. container imports bucked the traditional fall decline that has occurred for the previous six years (see Figure 2) and imports from China were a large contributor to the September results,” said Chris Jones, EVP Industry Descartes. “The drought in Panama does not appear to be affecting Gulf Coast port volumes; however, port transit times are starting to extend.”
Figure 2: August to September U.S. Container Import Volume Comparison
Source: Descartes Datamyne™
The September report is Descartes’ twenty-sixth installment since beginning its analysis in August 2021. To read past reports, learn more about the key economic and logistics factors driving the global shipping crisis, and review strategies to help address it in the near-, short- and long-term, visit Descartes’ Global Shipping Resource Center.
Descartes (Nasdaq:DSGX) (TSX:DSG) 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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