COVID-19 causes NWSA volume to crash

Aerial view of a cargo ship loaded in the Seattle harbor container terminal

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) saw its TEU volume drop by 21.6% year-on-year (YoY) in March as it struggles with the effects COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the NWSA, the alliance between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, handled 264,133 TEU in March 2020.

Full imports declined 28.2% while full exports decreased 8.6% year over year. Additionally, it announced there were 32 void sailings in the first quarter of 2020, which it blamed on the pandemic and the US-China trade war.

In the first quarter, the NWSA handled 788,882 TEU year to date, a 15.4% decline from the same period last year. Full imports and exports declined 19.3% and 4.9%, respectively.

It is the latest west coast US port to post a drop in volume as a direct result of the pandemic, with the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles reporting similar declines.

However, it said its terminals remain open and operational, and the overall supply chain in the Pacific Northwest is fluid. Efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the gateway are ongoing and include customized solutions to address specific needs.

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