Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seattle Monthly Container Volumes Down

Seattle Harbor container volumes were down 30 percent in March 2013 compared to the same month in 2012, and are down about 19 percent for the year to date, something attributed to the shift of the Grand Alliance to the Port of Tacoma.

The Grand Alliance is a consortium of three of the world’s largest shipping lines - Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd, Orient Overseas Container Line of Hong Kong and Japanese company NYK Line - along with associated carrier ZIM Integrated Shipping of Israel.

In July 2012, the Alliance began three new calls each week at Washington United Terminals, having moved their business from the Port of Seattle. Since the shift, Tacoma has seen year-over-year container volume increases while Seattle has experienced the opposite, something that’s expected to continue until mid-2013.

Seattle saw 119,297 TEUs in March, a 30 percent drop from March 2012’s 170,680 TEUs. As a region, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma were down four percent for March 2013 vs. 2012, but up 4.2 percent YTD.

As far as Seattle’s solo year-to-date volumes, its terminals moved 393,910 TEUs during the first three months of the year, a 19.4 percent decrease from the same three months in 2012. However, with the Grand Alliance volume shift factored out, Seattle volumes are actually up 2.5 percent year-to-date, according to port data.