Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Seattle Port Sees Double Digit Volume Drop In September

Following suit with the other major ports along the United States West Coast, the Port of Seattle experienced a sizable decline in total container volumes in September. As with other ports such as Los Angeles and Oakland, Seattle saw a drop off in imports for the month while simultaneously reporting a marked increase in exports.

The port handled a total of 159,536 TEUs in September, an 11.1 percent decline over the same month last year. The total volumes for the month were also a significant 12.7 percent drop off from August, marking September as the worst month at the port in six months and the second worst month of the year.

As with other West Coast ports, the September numbers indicate that short of a major boost in volumes in October, the peak of the holiday shipping season at the port was in August.

On the import side, the port handled a total of 60,809 loaded inbound TEUs, a 22.6 percent decline over the year-ago period.

Exports volumes in September, on the other hand, were up 17.7 percent over the same month last year, with a total of 52,217 loaded outbound TEUs moved.

However, the drop in imports, and a significant 35.1 percent decline in empties for the month, more than offset the export gains to drag down the total box numbers for the month.

For the calendar year, the port is off 5.9 percent from last year, with a total of 1,522,907 TEUs moved since Jan. 1.