Imports Increase In Spite of Issues

March showcased a robust performance in U.S. container import volumes, climbing by 0.4% from February and marking a 15% increase year-over-year, according to Descartes’ monthly report. The report attributes these gains partly to the delayed timing of this year’s Lunar New Year, which led to a significant surge in imports in the early part of March. Despite previous predictions, East Coast ports have continued to expand their market share, now controlling over 44%, while West Coast ports also posted substantial gains. However, challenges persist, highlighted by the substantial impact of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse on the Port of Baltimore’s operations, which saw a 15.7% decline in import volumes for March. As the Logistics Managers’ Index indicates growing inventory levels and the Inbound Ocean TEUs Volume Index (IOTI) shows promising recovery, the container market’s strong performance looks set to continue, reflecting a robust import volume trajectory into the foreseeable future.

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