U.S Imports Continue to Decline

December 14, 2022
by Jay Flynn

As we wrap up 2022, it should not go unnoticed that the United States has imported far less this year than many anticipated. There are multiple factors that come into play, but the leading factor is a sharp decline in demand. Onshoring, nearshoring, and geopolitical tensions also play a role in the United States’ decrease in imports. To put this in perspective, in November the U.S. imported 1,954,179 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit), a 19.4% decrease year-over-year. There was a 37% decrease from May to November, displaying the halt that demand and self-sufficiency have put on imports. Imports from Asia have decreased significantly, and manufacturing orders to China have decreased by 40%. From October to November, imports from Thailand decreased by 30.8%, and 17.4% from Vietnam. This decrease has caused U.S. ports to fall subject to downfalls, however, the decrease has shortened delays at the ports. It will be fascinating to see how the geopolitical climate, ability to manufacture, and economic woes will continue to affect imports.