Container volumes through the newly established Northwest Seaport Alliance continued to post gains in July, growing nearly 8 percent compared to July 2014, according to the ports alliance.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance, formally launched by the ports of Seattle and Tacoma on August 4, is reportedly the first alliance of its kind in North America
. The marine cargo operating partnership seeks to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more cargo for the region.
Through the first seven months of the year, the NWSA has handled nearly 2.1 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), a 4 percent increase year to date.
Strong volumes of full import containers powered the 3 percent year-to-date gain in containerized imports to 823,695 TEUs. Export containers grew nearly 6 percent year to date to 733,150 TEUs, propelled by the high volume of empty containers being sent back to Asia.
Full export containers struggled in July, falling nearly 14 percent on the year, the result of a stronger U.S. dollar and softening economies in Japan and China. Drought and extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest have
also challenged Washington state’s agricultural output.
Year-to-date, auto imports jumped nearly 8 percent to 109,950 units, while breakbulk volumes stabilized, down less than 1 percent to 162,090 metric tons and grain exports continued to fall, down almost 12 percent to 3,690,251 metric tons.