US import container volumes for June were up almost 6% on the same month last year, despite expectations that demand was on the decline.

According to a recent industry report, 2,164,789 teu of cargo arrived at the US’s top ten container ports last month, which was also a 27% rise on the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

The US East and Gulf Coasts have seen the biggest rises, with New York up an incredible 13.4% on the same time last year, almost beating the volume that came through Los Angeles.

LA has long been the busiest import port and has widely been recognised as the US gateway from Asia. However, constant port congestion and delays have driven traffic to other ports since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, that has now put pressure on multiple US ports and the congestion has shifted eastwards. Both New York and Houston ports individually had as many vessels waiting for berths last month as Los Angeles and Long Beach ports combined.

These large volumes seem to demonstrate an ongoing hunger for US companies to source imported products and, despite predictions, seem to suggest the Asia/US market remains strong.

Unfortunately, this also indicates little or no respite for struggling US ports, warehouses and truckers.

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