Through the first 10 months of 2017, container throughput at the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) ports of Seattle and Tacoma rose 4 percent compared to the same 2016 period, but October’s volumes slipped 2 percent compared to the same month last year.
Container volumes at the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), the marine cargo operating partnership between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, are up 4 percent through the first 10 months of the calendar year, according to NWSA data.
Year-to-date import volumes rose 2 percent to 1.25 million TEUs, while exports were up 10 percent to 1.2 million TEUs compared with the same 2016 period. Total international container volumes, including empties, rose 6 percent year-to-date to 2.45 million TEUs.
“YTD international volumes are currently trending to be the fourth-highest in our history,” the NWSA said in a statement.
The news coming from the NWSA wasn’t all positive, however. The alliance also revealed that its total monthly volumes last month fell 2 percent from October 2016, with imports dropping 6 percent to 119,943 TEUs compared to last year.
Exports ticked up 1 percent year-over-year to 120,196 TEUs in October, as empty exports grew 46 percent, something that the NWSA said is due to ocean carriers repositioning containers to Asia to keep pace with peak-season demand.
October’s total domestic volumes were up 1 percent compared to the same month last year, as Alaska cargo increased 2 percent, according to statistics. However, year-to-date volumes to and from Alaska fell 6 percent and are expected to end the year 8 percent lower than in 2016 due to soft market conditions, the seaport alliance said. Hawaii volumes through the Pacific Northwest ports are down 4 percent year-over-year so far in 2017.
Other YTD cargo highlights include a 43 percent increase in log volumes (up 215,976 metric tons) compared with the same period last year, and a 13 percent YTD jump in other breakbulk cargo volume (up 171,952 metric tons), according to NWSA data.
On the negative side, auto shipments were down 14 percent compared to the same period last year, at 120,263 units, which the NWSA attributed to weakening U.S. auto demand and a shift in manufacturing locations.