Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grand Alliance Shift Still Affecting Seattle TEU Volumes

Port of Seattle container volumes were down 27.8 percent in April 2013 vs. the same month in 2012 and down 21.6 percent year-to-date, according to the port, with the cause being attributed to the lingering effects of Seattle’s loss of the Grand Alliance of shipping lines last summer.

Seattle terminals saw a total of 130,426 TEUs last month, compared with more than 180,700 in April 2012, according to newly-released port data. For the year to date, the port has seen 518,390 TEUs, compared with 660,844 during the same four months last year.

In July 2012, the Alliance began three new calls each week at the Port of Tacoma’s Washington United Terminals.

Since the shift, Tacoma has seen year-over-year container volume increases while Seattle has experienced the opposite. The shift is expected to impact Port of Seattle year-over-year container volume comparisons until mid-year.

With the Grand Alliance volume shift factored out however, Seattle says its full inbound volumes were up 2.8 percent in April, and that full outbound volumes are up 4.3 percent for the year to date.

As a region, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma were down 6.0 percent for April 2013 vs. 2012 and up 1.4 percent YTD, according to data.