Puget Sound container volumes continue upward trend in September
Container volumes through The Northwest Seaport Alliance improved 5 percent through the third quarter of 2015.
Full containerized imports and empty exports fueled the seventh-straight month of growth as retailers increased inventories to prepare for the holiday shopping season. Import volumes increased nearly 5 percent year to date to 1,088,615 TEUs, and exports jumped nearly 9 percent to 982,206 TEUs. Domestic volumes remained flat, up 1 percent on the year.
Full export containers suffered in September, down 4 percent compared to the September 2014. A stronger U.S. dollar, decreasing demand from China and weaker economies overseas continue to impact the export market.
Through September, the alliance has handled nearly 2.8 million TEUs and is on pace to top last year’s 3.4 million TEUs.
Auto imports also continued to post gains—a trend that is expected to continue as next year’s models begin to arrive. Nearly 140,000 auto units crossed our docks through September, a nearly 4 percent increase.
Breakbulk cargo—items too big or bulky to fit in a container—remain stable, up half a percent to 196,923 metric tons year to date. Grain, log, petroleum and molasses exports continue to be impacted by the weaker export market.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.