The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a marine cargo operating partnership between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, says that through the first month of 2016, container volumes through the Puget Sound gateway grew nearly 17 percent to 257,349 TEUs.
The alliance also reports that its international container volumes climbed 25 percent in January compared to the same month a year ago.
According to data, the ports’ full containerized imports grew 33 percent to 108,441 TEUs, while full exports improved 16 percent to 65,430 TEUs. The ports say the rise in volumes indicate shippers have returned to the Pacific Northwest following port congestion early last year during contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association.
Despite the gains in international shipping, domestic container volumes continued to decline in January, falling nearly 13 percent to 44,799 TEUs, something the Seaport Alliance says is partially due to the Alaska economy continuing to struggle due to falling oil production and prices, and to much of the ports’ Hawaii-bound cargo now moving through Southern California following the sale of Horizon Lines’ Hawaii business last year.
The declines in breakbulk cargo and auto imports were expected due to seasonal volume fluctuations, according to the Seaport Alliance. Both breakbulk and auto imports are expected to grow in 2016, the ports say.
More data regarding the ports’ January 2016 volumes can be found at https://www.nwseaportalliance.com/sites/default/files/January2016-ContainerVolumes.pdf