Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Port of Tacoma Monthly Container Volume Down

Despite an increase in vessel calls, the total number of 20-foot equivalent units that moved through the Port of Tacoma last month was down 11 percent compared to the same month last year, according to newly released data.

A total of 102,947 TEUs made their way through the port last month, a sizeable decline from the 116,484 that were shipped through Tacoma in February 2011. The total includes 61,114 full containers traveling to and from international destinations, 12,208 empty containers traveling internationally and 29,619 TEUs – full and empty – traveling to and from Alaska and Hawaii. Each number was a decline of a few thousand containers from the same month the year before, as well as the prior month during this year.

For the year-to-date, Tacoma’s TEU volume is down 4.2 percent, with the number of full, empty, international and domestic containers all down from the same period in 2011.

Despite the net decline however, the port saw growth in some areas of cargo shipping. The amount of break bulk shipped was up 51 percent last month compared with February 2011, while the amount of grain rose over 28 percent, and the number of automobiles shipped was up 6.7 percent.

Additionally, the total number of vessel calls rose, going from 149 last February to 155 in the same month this year, a four percent increase, according to port data.