Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Seattle Port Volumes Up, Tacoma Continues Downward Slide

The Port of Seattle recorded its third straight month of container volume increases in October, while Puget Sound rival the Port of Tacoma recorded its sixteenth straight month of box volume declines.

The Seattle port turned in a 6 percent increase in total monthly container volume, ending October at 161,742 TEUs– up nearly 9,000 TEUs compared to October 2008. While Seattle handled 5.6 percent more loaded inbound containers in October, the port handled a whopping 51.4 percent more outbound loaded container in October than it did during the same period a year ago. However, the port's year-to-date numbers remained 11.9 percent lower than the January to October period of 2008, dragged down by sizeable monthly volume declines in the first seven months of this year. During the four months between February and May of this year, the Seattle port experienced monthly volume declines between 22 percent and nearly 37 percent compared to the year-ago periods.

The Port of Tacoma saw monthly volume declines across the board, ending October with 117,880 TEUs handled– down 25.2 percent compared to October 2008. Tacoma reported that loaded inbound container volumes dropped 24.8 percent and loaded outbound boxes declined by 21.3 percent compared to numbers from the same period last year. The declines only added to Tacoma's gloomy year-to-date numbers, with the port reporting total container volume for the first ten months of the year down 16.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. Tacoma's has not seen a monthly volume increase since July 2008 and in eleven of the past twelve months has reported a double-digit percentage drop over the same month in the previous year.