The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) has reported a 27.2 per cent decrease in total container volume for March 2023, with 240,979 TEU handled.
The decline was attributed to a 37.2 per cent drop in full imports, which continues to be impacted by soft demand and uncertainty around the PMA-ILWU contract negotiations.
READ: NWSA volumes brake as West Coast talks drag on
Full exports increased by 13.2 per cent over February, despite a 5.4 per cent decline in overall export volumes.
Empty imports rose as ocean carriers positioned equipment to support upcoming ag exports.
The year-to-date (YTD) total TEU handled by the NWSA decreased by 24.6 per cent to 679,820 TEU, with full imports and exports declining by 33.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively.
Domestic container volumes also declined by 3.8 per cent YTD 2023 compared to the same period last year, with Alaska volumes down 2.6 per cent and Hawaii volumes falling 8.3 per cent.
To boost intermodal volumes in the gateway, the NWSA recently launched a Rail Cargo Incentive Program, which will offer a $50 incentive per rail lift for eligible rail volumes starting from 1 May.
This initiative aims to attract more cargo to rail and promote greater efficiency and sustainability.
Just last week, the shore power infrastructure at Terminal 5 of the NWSA welcomed the first ship to plug into the infrastructure while at berth.
The MSC Brunella became the first vessel to utilise the terminal’s infrastructure on 10 April, with power supplied by Seattle City Light.