NWSA’s March container volumes dip 22% due to COVID-19

The Northwest Seaport Alliance handled 264,133 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in March 2020 as total container volumes dropped 21.6%, compared to March 2019. Full imports declined 28.2% while full exports decreased 8.6% year over year.

During the first quarter of 2020, there was a total of 32 void sailings due to a combination of lingering trade dispute and the pandemic. Of the 32 canceled sailings, 19 were in March as unprecedented disruptions from COVID-19 rippled across the global supply chain. The NWSA handled 788,882 TEUs year to date, a 15.4% decline from the same period last year. Full imports and exports declined 19.3% and 4.9%, respectively.

The NWSA terminals remain open and operating, and the overall supply chain in the Pacific Northwest is fluid. Efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the gateway are ongoing and include customized solutions to address specific needs. Information regarding our COVID-19 response are updated regularly on the NWSA website.

Despite disruptions in the international supply chain, domestic cargo volumes between the NWSA and Alaska remain healthy, ensuring that the essential household goods and emergency supplies continue to flow to the state. Alaska’s container volumes through March were up 0.9%. Overall year-to-date domestic container volumes decreased 0.9% dragged down by Hawaii, whose year-to-date volumes were down 8.2%.

Other cargo highlights:

  • Breakbulk cargo volumes were down 11.9% year over year to 62,779 metric tons.
  • NWSA auto volumes year to date were 40,555 units, down 0.5% year over year.

View the March 2020 cargo reports: