A new report by Descartes Datamyne shows U.S. inbound container volumes fell in December to close to pre-pandemic levels, as forecasts point to deeper declines in the coming months. The Wall Street Journal reports overall U.S. container imports fell 2.8% in 2022, halting two straight years of growth with declines loaded into the second half of the year.
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, just before the pandemic helped crash global trade.
Ocean shipping rates are also slipping to pre-pandemic levels, although several measures show the pricing decline is leveling off to start the year. Still, the Global Port Tracker projects steep drops in U.S. box imports in the coming months, so prices may drop still more if shipping capacity doesn’t keep up.
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