Total year-to-date volumes for the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, which jointly operate as the Northwest Seaport Alliance, are up 7 percent compared with the first six months of 2016 despite a slight dip in traffic in June, according to data.
Combined total container volumes at the Pacific Northwest ports of Seattle and Tacoma fell 1 percent year-over-year in June 2017, but total year-to-date volumes for the ports, which jointly operate as the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), are up 7 percent from the same 2016 period, according to recent data from the NWSA.
Full import volumes were up 7 percent to 694,175 twenty-foot equivalent units YTD, while full exports grew 2 percent to 476,745 TEUs. Total international container volume, including empties, increased 10 percent year-over-year 1,477,870 TEUs in the first half of 2017, according to the NWSA.
For the month of June, full imports declined 10 percent to 115,788 TEUs compared to last year, while full exports were down 15 percent to 73,916 TEUs for the month. However, shipments of empty exports grew 60 percent during the month, a result, the ports say, of ocean carriers continuing to reposition containers to Asia in preparation for peak shipping season this summer.
Total domestic volumes for June fell 3 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the alliance. Alaska’s year-to-date volumes are down 8 percent and are expected to end the year 5 percent to 6 percent lower due to soft market conditions. Hawaii volumes through the Pacific Northwest dropped 3 percent last month, with the ports citing diversification to Southern California as the cause.
Regarding other cargoes:
• Log volumes were up 138 percent to 159,704 metric tons over the same time last year, with the growth driven by consistent demand from China;
• Breakbulk cargo was down one percent, to 93,257 metric tons year to date, due to soft market conditions;
• And autos, at 74,489 units year to date, were down 17 percent compared to the same time last year, reflecting weakening U.S. demand and shifting manufacturing locations, according to NWSA data.