NWSA handles record container volumes in January

The Northwest Seaport Alliance started the year with a record-breaking month as total container volumes for January reached 326,228 twenty-foot equivalent units, a 27.3% increase over last year.

Total international container volumes for the month also set a record at 277,495 TEUs. Total import volumes were up 34.1%compared to January 2018, as shippers continued to send cargo in anticipation of higher tariffs and before factories in Asia closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Full imports, at 128,615 TEUs, were up 32.8%. At 132,902 TEUs, total export volumes were up 26.3% over last year.

“As we work to build on the strong import volumes we saw in January, the Seattle-Tacoma gateway will be adding more than 7 million square feet of new industrial warehousing space this year to diversify our customers’ supply chain,” said Tong Zhu, NWSA’s Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer.

Total domestic volumes for January increased 13% to 48,732 TEUs compared to January 2018. Alaska’s January volumes were up 16.7% due to lower than normal capacity in January 2018, which was impacted by planned vessel drydocking. Hawaii volumes through the Pacific Northwest were down 1.7%.

Other cargo highlights include breakbulk cargo volume increasing by 17.8% to 18,583 metric tons. Auto volume for January was also up 70.8% to 17,653 units, and the new Taylor Way Auto Facility, which opened in December, brought new volumes. In addition, the NWSA received diverted cargo due to congestion at other West Coast ports of entry.