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USWC ports post 8pc rise in box traffic in September: PMSA



THE five major US West Coast container ports - Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, and Seattle - collectively handled 70,751 more inbound TEU in September than in the same month in 2016, a year-over-year gain of 8 per cent, according to newly released statistics compiled by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA).

Further growth was stymied by a 15.3 per cent fall-off (21,141 TEU) in inbound traffic at the Northwest Seaport Alliance ports, Seattle and Tacoma, the PMSA said.

Oakland recorded a robust 12.6 per cent jump (8,823 TEU) from last September, American Shipper reported.

On the loaded export side, the big five US West Coast ports handled 24,767 fewer outbound loaded TEU this September than a year earlier, a decline of 5.8 per cent. Only the Port of Long Beach, up 4.1 per cent (4,953 TEU) saw export growth during the month.

Meanwhile, the two Pacific Northwest ports saw their outbound trades slip by a combined 6.5 per cent (8,026 TEU) in the PMSA's September export figures.

Looking solely at US containerised trade with the economies of East Asia, US West Coast ports' share of the declared weight of the contents of containerised imports arriving at mainland ports from East Asia dropped sharply to 56.9 per cent from 59.3 per cent in August and from an ever higher 59.8 percent share in September 2016.

September's share of import tonnage was the lowest in any month since the dock slowdown during the winter of 2014-2015, PMSA data show. The coastwide decline was primarily attributable to a plummeting import trade at the Port of Tacoma, which saw a 35.4 per cent year-over-year fall-off in containerised import tonnage.

But on the positive side, the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports saw their combined share of containerised import tonnage in September edge up slightly to 45.4 percent from 45.3 percent a year earlier.

For containerised exports to East Asia from mainland ports, the West Coast share by declared weight tumbled to 55.4 per cent in September, down from 63 per cent in August and from 61.7 per cent in September 2016. On a value basis, the share in September also dropped to 63.9 per cent from 68.5 per cent in August and from 67.9 per cent last September, according to PMSA data.

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