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No slowdown U.S. import volumes: Descartes

Container import volumes up 4% from April 2021 and 28% from pre-pandemic April 2019.

No slowdown U.S. import volumes: Descartes
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Photo Credit: Port of Los Angeles

April continued the very strong start to 2022 at 2.47 million container imports into the U.S., another monthly record, according to the latest report by Descartes Systems Group, a SaaS provider focused on improving the productivity of logistics-intensive businesses.

"The global shipping crisis continued through April 2022 with another year-over-year record in container import volume versus 2021. Covid-related shutdowns in China continue to spread but do not appear to be having an impact on overall U.S. container import volumes. Neither has the Russia/Ukraine conflict or inflation," the report said.


Container import volumes into the U.S. were down 4 percent from March 2022 "but could be considered on par with March imports due to April's Easter holiday and the month being a day shorter. In contrast to previous years, however, April 2022 container import volumes were up 4 percent from April 2021 and 28 percent from pre-pandemic April 2019."

West to East Coast shift continues
Comparing the top five West Coast ports to the top five East Coast ports in April 2022 versus March 2022 shows that of the total import container volume, the East increased to 45.4 percent while the West represented 41.2 percent. "In March, the split was East Coast 41.4 percent and West Coast 45 percent."

Continued improvement in port performance
Ports, across-the-board, reduced delays in April but every major port still has 10+ day delays with one minor exception: Long Beach (9.7 days), the report said.

"This is encouraging since U.S. container import volume is still at record levels."

As long as monthly U.S. container import volumes are above 2.4 million TEUs, port congestion issues will persist until infrastructure changes are made, the report said.

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