Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Seattle-Tacoma YTD Cargo Volumes Up Eight Percent

By Mark Edward Nero

Total container volumes at the Seattle and Tacoma seaports were steady for the month of April, according to the Northwest Seaport Alliance, as new ocean carrier alliance deployments took effect, thereby resulting in 0.5 percent growth over the same month last year, while year-to-date volumes were up eight percent.

April international container volumes performed well, with 110,821 TEUs shipped, full imports grew six percent compared to April 2016. The ports cites retailers continuing to rebuild inventory levels and a favorable market outlook fueling import demand as causes for the increase.

Additionally, full exports were up one percent to 77,558 TEUs, according to data. Empty exports grew 81.5 percent as ocean carriers began repositioning empties to Asia in preparation for peak season. Total international TEU volumes, including empties, jumped eight percent compared to last April.

Last month’s full imports brought year-to-date volumes to 462,427 TEUs, up 11 percent. Full exports grew five percent to 324,743 TEUs, while total international containers, including empties, increased 12 percent year to date.

However, total domestic volumes last month were down 21 percent compared to April 2016. Also last month, breakbulk cargo was down 10 percent, to 55,119 metric tons year to date, due to soft market conditions; and autos, at 53,925 units year to date, slipped 13 percent compared to the same time last year, a reflection, the port said, of weakening US demand and shifting manufacturing locations.

Additionally, log volumes were up 165.3 percent, to 94,547 metric tons, over the same time last year, something driven by consistent demand from China according to the Seaport Alliance.