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Despite pessimistic whispers, U.S. imports have been on the rise since February, with recent numbers even eclipsing pre-COVID levels.

September’s figures emphasize the enduring importance of China in the import game.

Though some forecasts are trimmed back, the overall picture remains robust. Still, watch for softer Q4 figures, signaling a return to typical seasonal trends.

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Despite the melancholic chatter surrounding U.S. imports, the data suggests otherwise. Descartes Systems Group reports a steady rise in imports since February, with September figures surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

This year’s numbers seem unimpressive only if juxtaposed against the colossal COVID-era shipping boom of 2021-2022. September also witnessed a noticeable revival in imports from China, negating rumors of nearshoring and supply chain diversification.

While the National Retail Federation has slightly dialed down its full-year import forecast, the figures remain resilient compared to pre-COVID years. However, a dip in trans-Pacific spot rates might indicate a softer Q4, reminiscent of pre-pandemic seasonal trends. 

Kind of a wishy-washy outlook, we know, but sometimes only time will tell and you can always count on us to keep you in the know and out of trouble.

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