Container shipping

(Source: TheDCN)


In March, the volume of US imported containers grew slightly compared to February, only increasing by 0.4% to 2,145,341 TEU. However, TEU volumes increased sharply by 15.7% compared to the same month last year and marked an even larger increase of 20.6% compared to pre-pandemic levels in March 2019.

Notably, the impact of the Lunar New Year in China may have hindered growth that could have been even higher, as the holiday began on February 11 and lasted throughout the week, weighing on with US imports until the second half of March.

To give a clearer perspective, Descartes made a comparison between the first 15 days of March 2024 and the corresponding period in 2023, as these periods are less affected by the Lunar New Year than. During this time frame, US container import growth rate was at 22.7%.


Compare US container import volume over the years 2019-2024 (Source: Descartes)


“Considering declining import volumes from China, March 2024 was a strong month and continues the robust performance that began in January 2024. Despite the combined effect of the Panama drought and the conflict in the Middle East, port transit delays showed continued improvement across nearly all the top ports, as March volumes at East and Gulf Coast ports remained stable,” said Chris Jones, EVP Industry, Descartes.

According to the report, compared to February, US imports from China continued to decrease in March due to the Lunar New Year, leading to a decrease in output at the port of Los Angeles in California for the second consecutive month.

Despite concerns, shipping delays at U.S. East Coast and Gulf ports are showing signs of improvement, unaffected by drought in Panama and conflict in the Middle East. Descartes' logistics data update for April points to a strong start for US container imports in the first quarter of 2024.

However, ongoing issues such as those at the Panama and Suez Canals, upcoming labor negotiations at US South Atlantic and Gulf ports, conflicts in the Middle East and the consequences of The Baltimore Bridge collapse is expected to impact global supply chain performance throughout the year. The impact of the Baltimore Bridge collapse on US container import volumes is not yet fully realized.


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Source: (According to Descartes | ContainerNews) - Vietnam's First International Logistics Marketplace

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