THE Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) ports of Seattle and Tacoma handled a combined 302,516 TEU in March, representing a year-on-year decrease of 9.6 per cent.
NWSA attributed the fall in volumes to factory shutdowns in China over the Lunar New Year holiday and to vessel delays that also triggered a reduction in calls and volumes into April, reported American Shipper.
Total international container volumes in March were down 10.1 per cent to 245,723 TEU, as the volume of international imports dived 12.8 per cent to 117,452 TEU and international exports fell 7.5 per cent to 128,271 TEU.
Domestic cargo throughput decreased by seven per cent to 56,792 TEU after volumes to/from Alaska declined 7.6 per cent on the back of soft market conditions and shipments to/from Hawaii were down four per cent.
Breakbulk volumes, on the other hand, jumped 43.7 per cent to 54,766 tons during the first quarter, but year-to-date auto volumes plunged 28.8 per cent to 31,568 units, "mirroring the overall decline in the North American auto import market," NWSA said.