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NWSA container volume shrinks due to COVID-19

The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s total container volume for February 2020 was 260,932TEU, a 3.1% decrease from February 2019. However, exports increased 4.5%, while imports declined 8%.

In addition to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, tariffs continued to impact overall volumes. The NWSA saw a build-up in inventories from late 2018 through to early 2019 and weak demand in February 2019, making year-on-year comparisons for the month difficult.

“We anticipate March 2020 volumes will be deeply impacted by the COVID-19 virus, contributed by the increased ship cancellations in 2020,” said NWSA in its announcement.

Total container volumes for the first two months in 2020 were 524,749TEU, an 11.9% decline compared to the previous year. Imports and exports declined 15.1% and 11.9%, respectively.

Domestic container volumes for February 2020 decreased 3.3% in the year-to-date compared to 2019. Alaska’s volumes for this calendar year were down 5.2%, while Hawaii’s year-to-date volumes were up 5.2%. Hawaii volumes benefited from one additional vessel call this year.

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