By Mark Edward Nero
The Northwest Seaport Alliance recorded an eight percent year-to-date increase in container cargo through February 2017, according to newly released data.
International container volumes for the month of February remained steady with a 9.1 percent year-to-date increase despite fewer sailings. Compared to same time last year, full export loads saw a four percent increase, and import loads were up more than seven percent for the year.
As anticipated, we saw fewer vessel arrivals and amended service schedules by ocean carriers in February due to the Lunar New Year holiday, which began more than 10 days earlier than last year.
In observance of the holiday, the factories in China traditionally shut down production for up to two weeks. As a result, total container volumes declined by 0.8 percent for the month.
At 102,697 TEUs, full imports declined four percent compared to February 2016. Meanwhile, full exports recorded 71,243 TEUs, nearly a seven percent dip. Overall, total international TEU volumes grew 1 percent in February due to an increase in empty containers.
Total domestic volumes declined almost eight percent, compared to February 2016. Year to date, Alaska volumes declined more than six percent in February and are expected to decline five to six percent this year due to soft market conditions. The Pacific Northwest trade with Hawaii, however, is expected to show modest growth in 2017.
The Seaport Alliance’s container volumes for February 2017 can be viewed at https://www.nwseaportalliance.com/sites/default/files/seaport_alliance_full_mty_by_month_2016vs17.pdf and the cargo statistics for the month are available at https://www.nwseaportalliance.com/sites/default/files/seaport_alliance-5-year_history_feb_17.pdf