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U.S. containerized imports fell sharply in September

The slowdown in the U.S. economy, reduced purchases by retailers, inflation, and high fuel costs have combined to cause a sharp drop in U.S. containerized imports.

Data and analysis released by a number of domestic institutions show that from September to October this year, the volume of US container imports continued to decline.


According to U.S. customs data compiled by U.S. trade data service provider Descartes, in September 2022, U.S. container imports fell by 11% year-on-year to 2.21 million TEU, even lower than the same period in 2020. In addition, the figure was down 12.4% from August this year, the largest month-on-month decline since February 2020.


In contrast, imports in August fell only 1.8% year-on-year to remain at around 2.5 million TEU.

 

Descartes said in the report that factors such as a slowing U.S. economy, reduced purchases by retailers, inflation and high fuel costs combined to cause U.S. container imports to drop sharply in September.


Among them, the two largest ports on the west coast of the United States, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, were the most affected. Compared to August, container imports at both ports were down around 17%. The port of Savannah on the east coast of the United States also saw a 21% month-on-month drop in containerized imports.


In addition, the National Retail Federation (NRF) also lowered its forecast for U.S. import volumes for the rest of 2022 in October, and expects further declines in U.S. imports by early 2023. This is the second time in two months that NRF has lowered its volume forecast.


By the end of 2022, the NRF expects container imports at major U.S. ports to fall to their lowest level in nearly two years.

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