Friday, November 19, 2010

Cargo Volumes Up at Seattle, Tacoma Ports in October

The two major Puget Sound ports reported increased cargo volume during October, with Seattle posting its tenth month of double-digit traffic growth this year and Tacoma posting its second positive month of the year. However, loaded import containers moving through both ports continued to slide compared to previous months, indicating that both ports' peak import season for the year ended during the summer months.

The Port of Seattle handled a total of 190,666 TEUs in October, an 18.5 percent gain over October 2009. Port officials also reported that total loaded imports for October climbed 33.4 percent to 83,054 TEUs and total loaded exports climbed 9 percent to 55,552 TEUs, both compared to the year-ago period.

October import volumes, while higher than September, remained lower than August and July, indicating that the port's peak import period for the year was July with 92,099 import TEUs handled.

For the first ten months of the year, Seattle has handled a total of 1,805,132 TEUs, a sizable 40.3 percent increase over the January to October period in 2009.

Across the sound, the Port of Tacoma, which has struggled all year to climb into positive growth territory, managed to do just that in October. The port handled a total of 119,638 TEUs in October, a 1.5 percent increase over the same month last year.

Imports and exports were a mixed bag for Tacoma during October, with imports declining slightly and exports advancing into positive territory over October 2009. Total loaded import containers for October dipped 3.7 percent to 39,049 TEUs while total loaded export containers increased 4.7 percent to 29,668 TEUs, both compared to the same period last year.

Tacoma import volumes in October were lower than the previous three months, indicating that the port's peak import period or the year was June with 52,240 import TEUs handled.

For the year-to-date, Tacoma has moved 1,205,040 TEUs, an 8.1 percent drop from the first ten months of 2009.