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US Outbound Container Volume Drops for 12th Month Straight

According to the McCown Report, East Coast and Gulf Coast imports helped inbound volumes rise 2.9% in May across the top 10 US ports, setting a new record but marking a slowdown in growth compared to recent months.

May’s 2,287,801 teu inbound compared to a previous high of 2,230,919 teu set in March 2022.

“In May, the overall 2.9% inbound gain resulted from countervailing coastal changes,” said John McCown.

“East/Gulf Coast ports growth of 11.9% was below April’s gain of 14.6% but above the 6.6% increase in March. In contrast, West Coast ports decreased 4.6%, continuing a downtrend from a 3.4% decrease in April and a 0.6% increase in March.”

Houston, Charleston and Norfolk led the increase in inbound volumes.

Outbound container volumes fell by 4.5% on-year in May, adding to drops of 5.2% in April and 12.1% in March.

The decline averages to 8.7% per month over the past twelve months, with West Coast ports again weaker than East and Gulf Coast peers.

“Only two of the last 27 months have shown year over year increases in overall outbound volume,” said McCown.

“These months were April and May of last year when the year over year comparisons benefited from the initial volume declines at the onset of the pandemic.”

Total inbound volume was 2.6 times outbound volume in May, compared to an average of 2.52 for 2021, 2.19 for 2020 and 1.85 for 2019.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News

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