NWSA August container volumes grow, but total volumes flat for the year

The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s container volumes marked the highest monthly total for an August since 2012 on the strength of full containerized imports and exports.

Full imports improved 4 percent compared to August 2015, while full exports surged 15 percent month over month. Year to date, full imports are up 3 percent to 879,435 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) and exports increased 13 percent to 625,523 TEUs.

Total container volumes are flat year to date through August, falling less than one percent to 2,322,999 TEUs. The persistent decline of empty containers and lagging domestic volumes continue to drag down total container volumes. Empty containers have fallen nearly 22 percent year to date, while domestic volumes are down 3 percent.

Hanjin Shipping’s filing for receivership did not impact the alliance’s August cargo volumes.

In other cargo news:

  • Breakbulk cargo is down 29 percent year to date to 128,545 metric tons as the global downturn in agricultural, mining and construction equipment, and a strong U.S. dollar impact volumes.
  • Log exports declined 48 percent year to date to 92,840 metric tons due to decreased demand in China and competition from New Zealand.
  • Autos fell 5 percent to 119,758 units as vehicle manufacturers move factory locations and shift the supply chain.  

View the August 2016 cargo reports: