Northwest Seaport Alliance container volumes up 6 percent in August 2017
The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s total year-to-date container volumes through August increased 5 percent while total monthly volumes for the gateway improved 6 percent over August 2016, the company said in its press release.
Full imports for the month of August reached their highest level since 2010, increasing 1 percent to 119,529 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) compared to last year. Full exports were down 8 percent to 76,614 TEUs. Empty exports, reaching their highest volume since 2006, grew 58 percent as ocean carriers continued to reposition containers to Asia to keep pace with peak-season demand.
Year to date, full import volumes were up 5 percent to 922,886 TEUs, the fourth-highest on record. Meanwhile, full exports were down 1 percent at 616,957 TEUs. Total international container volume, including empties, increased 9 percent year to date to 1,963,419 TEUs, the highest YTD volume through August since 2007.
Total domestic volumes for the month increased 6 percent compared to the same month last year. Alaska’s year-to-date volumes were down 7 percent and are expected to end the year 8 percent lower than 2016 due to soft market conditions. Hawaii volumes through the Pacific Northwest are down 2 percent year-to-date due to diversion to Southern California.
Driven by consistent demand from China, log volumes continue to grow. They were up 101 percent to 186,582 metric tons year to date compared with the same period last year.
Breakbulk cargo volume was down 3 percent to 125,030 metric tons year to date due to soft market conditions.
Autos, at 96,962 units year to date, were down 19 percent compared to the same period last year, reflecting weakening U.S. demand and shifting manufacturing locations.