June container throughput at the Northwest Seaport Alliance down 16.4% on year

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) in Washington state announced a 16.4% decrease in container volumes for the month of June when compared to June 2019.

The Seaport Alliance, a partnership between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, had a throughput of 287,036 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in June 2020.

Despite handling 16.4% fewer TEU’s than the same month a year earlier, the ports’ throughput last month was the highest since October 2019, reflecting the turbulent market conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The NWSA is the fourth-largest container gateway in North America according to the Seaport’s website.

Overall throughput at the neighboring ports for the first half of 2020 fell by 18.3% compared to the first half of 2019, with a total of 1.56 million TEU’s handled in the January-June period.

The NWSA gateway saw 55 blanked sailings in the first six months of the year, with 7 more blanked sailings scheduled through September, compared to 58 blanked sailings in the whole of 2019.

“As we look to the second half of this year, it’s really difficult for us to predict what our expected cargo volumes are going to look like,” NWSA CEO John Wolfe said at a teleconference. But the Seaport Alliance is optimistic about the second half of the year, with “fewer cancelled sailings forecasted and an uptick in our volume here in July.”

Platts Container Rate 13 – North Asia to West Coast North America – was last assessed at $2,750/FEU from $2,100/FEU at the start of June as shipping lines reduced carrying capacity amid weak consumer demand.
Source: Platts

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