Friday, September 23, 2016

NWSA Monthly Cargo Volumes Grow

By Mark Edward Nero

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the operating partnership between the Seattle and Tacoma ports, said Sept. 16 that its total marine cargo container volumes last month were the highest for an August since 2012.

The gains were made on the strength of full containerized imports and exports alike, according to the Alliance.

Full imports improved four percent compared to August 2015, while full exports surged 15 percent month over month. Year to date, full imports are up three percent to 879,435 TEUs and exports increased 13 percent to 625,523 TEUs.

However, the Seaport Alliance says, year-to-date total container volumes through August are flat, falling less than one percent to 2,322,999 TEUs.

“The persistent decline of empty containers and lagging domestic volumes continue to drag down total container volumes,” the Alliance said in a statement regarding the numbers. Meanwhile, empty containers have fallen nearly 22 percent year to date, while domestic volumes are down three percent.

Hanjin Shipping’s filing for receivership did not impact the alliance’s August cargo volumes, according to the Alliance. The receivership was filed Aug. 31.

In other freight news: breakbulk cargo is down 29 percent year to date to 128,545 metric tons as the global downturn in agricultural, mining and construction equipment, and a strong U.S. dollar impact volumes.

Also, log exports fell 48 percent year to date to 92,840 metric tons, with decreased demand in China and competition from New Zealand cited as being among the causes.

Additionally, auto movements fell five percent to 119,758 units as vehicle manufacturers move factory locations and shift the supply chain.

The Alliance’s cargo volumes for August 2016 can be found at The cargo statistics for the same month are available at