NWSA sees container volumes decline in rough January

A panoramic view of Mount Rainier, The Port of Tacoma and a marina.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) has seen its January 2022 container volumes drop by 5.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.

During the month, a total of 272,281 TEU passed through the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle, with full imports declining 0.9 per cent and full exports declining 36 per cent year-over-year.

The NWSA has pinned these disappointing volumes on vessel call omissions driven by congestion. Exports also continue to be affected by a shortage of equipment and vessel capacity due to vessel voids.

Domestic and Hawaii volumes also fell by 2.3 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively compared to January 2021 while Hawaii volumes grew by 5.7 per cent.

With spring deployment changes, the alliance is hoping to see the return of services that were temporarily suspended or called less frequently.

Vessel calls on the Ocean Alliance’s Columbus PNW service and THE Alliance’s PN3 and AL5 services are expected to increase in the coming months.

© Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA)

Container volumes at the ports improved significantly in 2021, rising 12.5 per cent compared to 2020.

Full-year volumes reached over 3.73 million TEU, with imports increasing by 16.8 per cent.

Full exports fell by 12.5 per cent on the year due to shortages in equipment and space.

Earlier this year, the NWSA and SSA Marine also welcomed the first vessel call to the recently modernised Terminal 5 in Seattle.

The Terminal 5 Modernization Program was initially launched in 2016 and aimed to expand gateway cargo capacity and enable both the ports of Seattle and Tacoma to handle the largest vessels in Transpacific trade.

The MSC Monterey has now become the first vessel to call at the terminal since phase one of the program allowed cargo ships to call at the gateway. Four new Super Post-Panamax cranes were ready to work the ship upon its arrival.

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