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May 23, 2017

Northwest Seaport Alliance freight volumes stable in April

Container throughput at the Northwest Seaport Alliance's Seattle and Tacoma terminals for the month of April remained steady as the new ocean carrier alliance deployments took effect, resulting in 0.5 percent growth over the same month last year. Year-to-date volumes were up 8 percent.

April international container volumes performed well. At 110,821 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), full imports grew 6 percent compared to April 2016, as retailers continued to rebuild inventory levels and a favorable market outlook fueled import demand. Full exports were up 1 percent to 77,558 TEUs. Empty exports grew 81.5 percent as ocean carriers began repositioning empties to Asia in preparation for peak season. Total international TEU volumes, including empties, increased by 8 percent compared to last April.

April's full imports brought year-to-date volumes to 462,427 TEUs, up 11 percent. Meanwhile, full exports grew 5 percent to 324,743 TEUs. Total international containers, including empties, increased 12 percent year to date.

Total domestic volumes for the month declined 21 percent compared to April 2016. Alaska's year-to-date volumes declined 8 percent and are expected to decline 5 to 6 percent this year due to soft market conditions. Hawaii volumes declined 9 percent.

Source: Northwest Seaport Alliance