NWSA TEU volumes down 4 per cent

Seattle, USA - Jun 20, 2021: The shipping port on Elliott bay late in the day.

Reduced vessel calls in June—due to congestion in other ports and ongoing service suspensions—negatively impacted Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) volumes.

June volumes decreased 10.3 per cent to 309,123 TEU, with full imports declining 15.4 per cent and full exports declining 8.8 per cent year-over-year.

Year-to-date import volumes are tracking ahead of pre-COVID-19 levels, while laden exports continue to struggle from reduced service capacity.

Year-to-date volumes declined 4 per cent to 1,806,732 TEU, with full imports and exports declining 6.9 per cent and 24.2 per cent, respectively.

Notably, the NWSA reported a record 365,088 TEU of laden international imports moved through the gateway during Q1 2022.

Latest data from McCown Container Volume Observer showed that Seattle/Tacoma has suffered the heaviest impact of inbound container shifts across the US, with inbound volume down 14.1 per cent compared to last year.

NWSA has noted however that ocean carriers have announced the return of suspended services in Q3 to support the peak season and the additional capacity is expected to improve volumes, including export activity.

Additional capacity is also supported by continued ad-hoc vessel call activity in the gateway.

Domestic volumes increased 1 per cent compared to year-to-date June 2021. Alaska volumes increased 2.2 per cent while Hawaii volumes declined 3.4 per cent.

NWSA Managing Members recently approved a new three-year lease—with three two-year extension options—and operating agreement with the BNSF Railway to begin handling domestic intermodal business in the Tacoma Harbor. The 16-acre terminal—adjacent to the South Intermodal Yard—will be operated by Pacific Rail Services and used for intermodal container storage and related operations. The new rail yard increases 53-foot domestic intermodal capacity for rail shipments from NWSA to the Midwest and other inland markets.

Operations are expected to begin on 1 August.

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