US Import Volume Tumbles to Near 2-Year Low

10 Feb,2023

BY GLENN TAYLOR             FM: SOURCING JOURNAL            DATE: JANUARY 10, 2023 10:50AM

While “normal” still doesn’t describe the state of U.S.ports, America’s marine gateways have reached a major milestone that signals a significant decline in cargo volume. Monthly imports fell below the 2 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) mark for the first time since February 2021, the only month when ports handled fewer than 2 million TEUs since July 2020.

U.S. ports handled 1.78 million TEUs in November, according to the Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. That number was down 11.3 percent from October and down 15.8 percent from November 2021. It marked the lowest total since 1.87 million TEUs were handled at the 12 major ports in February 2021.

 “Ports have been stretched to their limits and beyond but are getting a break as consumer demand moderates amid continued inflation and high interest rates,” said Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy at NRF, in a statement. “Consumers are still spending and volumes remain high, but we’re not seeing the congestion at the docks

and ships waiting to unload that were widespread this time a year ago. It’s good to escape some of the pressure, but it’s important to use this time to address supply chain challenges that still need to be resolved like finalizing the West Coastport labor contract.”

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