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U.S. Container Imports Tumbled Close to Prepandemic Levels in December

By January 30, 2023No Comments

U.S. ocean imports closed 2022 extending a monthslong slide closer to prepandemic levels, according to a new report, leaving the shipping sector bracing for deeper declines in container volumes this year.

American ports handled 1,929,032 inbound containers in December, measured in 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, down 1.3% from November, according to a report released Tuesday by Descartes Datamyne, a trade intelligence database owned by supply-chain software company Descartes Systems Group Inc. December marked the lowest level for seaborne imports since June 2020, just before a pandemic-driven rush to restock depleted inventories triggered a surge in imports.

The December box volumes were 19.3% behind container imports the same month the year before, Descartes Datamyne said, and 1.3% greater than December 2019, before the spread of Covid and city lockdowns in early 2020 sent global trade spiraling downward.