NWSA January container volumes drop after tariff-driven surge

The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s total container volume for January 2020 was 263,816 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 19.1% decrease from January 2019.

Following an unprecedented international container throughput for the same month last year — tied to shippers moving cargo ahead of tariffs, it created a larger than usual gap in the year-over-year figures for January 2020. Imports fell 21.4%, and exports declined 20.5%.

The NWSA also continues to monitor developments of the coronavirus outbreak and expects to see negative impacts to the international trade industry, including the Seattle and Tacoma gateway.

Domestic container volumes in January 2020 decreased 8.5% over January 2019. Alaska’s year-to-date volumes were down 13%, and Hawaii’s year-to-date volumes were up 12.6%. Hawaii volumes benefitted from one additional vessel call for the month over last year.

Other cargo highlights:

  • Breakbulk cargo volumes were down 11.5% year over year to 16,455 metric tons.
  • NWSA auto volumes year to date were 10,461 units, down 29.2% year over year.

View the January 2020 cargo reports: