No let up in West Coast growth as more ports report record volumes

No let up in West Coast growth as more ports report record volumes

US West Coast ports continue to see TEU traffic volume increase year-on-year (YoY) with the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) and the Port of Oakland reporting significant growth in April.

The NWSA said full imports increased by 23.9% as US consumer demand continued its trend of unprecedented growth. Exports dropped by 12% YoY, a sign that exporters are still struggling to get goods to port; volumes overall grew by 14.1%.

Additionally, the NWSA said the first vessel of Wan Hai Lines new AA5 service called at Terminal 18 on 5 April 2021, which provides business in the Pacific Northwest with direct connections to Asia.

It also said in May MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) Santana service will call at Husky Terminal at the Port of Tacoma, increasing capacity and efficiencies.

The Port of Oakland broke its monthly TEU traffic record in April, handling 100,096 TEU, the first time in its history that it has passed the 100,000 TEU mark in one month, as volumes grew by 8% YoY.

It was the second month in a row that volumes have been broken and the second in a row for import gains. The Port said its imports increased by 19% YoY and 25% compared to March 2021.

Port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said there is no let-up in sight and attributed the figures to consumer spending and e-commerce. “We’re sounding like a broken record, but containerised trade continues to flourish as the US economy rebounds.”

Just like the NWSA, exports at the Port fell, although only by 3.7%, for which it blamed the increasing demand for empty containers in Asia.

Ports on the US West Coast have seen unprecedented traffic volatility since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strained resources and caused problems across the supply chain.

In May 2021 it was announced by the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA) that approximately $250 million will be spent by the federal government to help ports replenish capital reserves.

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