Containerized imports at the Port of Seattle increased 5 percent in March over the same month last year. Exports were up even more, increasing 8.3 percent over March 2011.
U.S. imports from Asia were generally down in February due to the closure of factories for the annual Chinese New Year celebration. The solid rebound in March bodes well for the eastbound trade this year.
U.S. exports to Asia continue to outperform imports, although export growth could moderate in the spring and early summer in line with normal seasonal trends.
Seattle’s total international container volume in March increased 6.5 percent compared to March 2011. The port’s total of containers handled, including empties and the coastal trade with Alaska, was up 5.8 percent.
Seattle’s year-to-date performance is lagging that of 2011. Containerized imports January through March were down 5.8 percent, and exports were down 0.9 percent.