Container volumes through the Port of Tacoma increased 4.3 percent in April compared with April 2011, though year-to-date volumes were down 0.4 percent, according to newly released data.
The number of full inbound containers that originated at non-domestic locations rose from April 2011 to April 2012 at Tacoma, going from 33,903 to 39,121. Likewise, the number of full outbound 20-foot-equivalent units was up during the same time period, going from 29,213 to 29,335. This led to a total volume of non-domestic TEUs of 68,456 last month, an increase of over 7,000 from the 63,116 that moved through the port in April 2011.
The boost in full containerized imports is attributed by the port to double-digit gains in such commodities as industrial equipment, vehicle parts, electrical equipment, and toys and games moving across Tacoma’s docks.
The port saw a decrease in shipments of empty containers compared with the same month last year, however. The number of non-domestic empties moving through Tacoma was 10,820 in April, a sizable dip from the 12,594 of April 2011.
For the year to date, Tacoma has moved a total of 463,440 TEUs, down from 465,098 during the same four months last year.
As far as types of cargo, break bulk volumes continue to out-pace 2011 numbers at Tacoma, posting a nearly 80 percent increase through April. Demand for agricultural and construction equipment continues to fuel the surge as the construction and planting seasons ramp up, according to the port.