Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, released its August report on the ongoing global shipping crisis and analysis for logistics and supply chain professionals. The report shows July was the seventh consecutive month this year of record U.S. ocean container import volume versus July 2021. July 2022 volumes increased over June 2022 totals and remain above the level that has caused port congestion and delays for the last 17 months. The economy, inflation, and high fuel costs have yet to slow down import volumes, and an increase in wait times for ships arriving at East and Gulf Coast ports continue to make managing supply chain performance challenging.
Container imports into the U.S. set another monthly record (see Figure 1), as TEU volume was up 3% from July 2021 to 2,530,906 and up 15% from pre-pandemic July 2019. Every month in 2022 has been a record month when compared to previous years. In July, container import volume reversed its June decline and was up 2% versus July 2021.
Figure 1. U.S. Container Import Volume Year-over-Year Comparison
“The record July numbers show that the U.S. economy, inflation and high fuel costs have not had the anticipated adverse effect on container import volume,” said Chris Jones, EVP Industry & Services at Descartes. “This continued higher volume and shift from West Coast ports is increasing delays at major East and Gulf Coast ports (see Figure 2) and the number of ships waiting on the water, which will make global supply chain performance more unpredictable.”
Figure 2: Average Wait Times (in days) at Top 10 U.S. Ports
Source: Descartes Datamyne
The August report is Descartes’ thirteenth 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 Crisis Resource Center.