Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Port of Seattle Annual TEUs Down Significantly

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle handled 1.57 million TEUs in calendar year 2013, a 16.5 percent drop since the Grand Alliance consortium of shippers began calling at the Port of Tacoma in July of 2012, according to newly-released data.

By comparison, the nearby Port of Tacoma handled 1.89 million TEUs in calendar year 2013.

The Port of Seattle maintains, however, that the addition of two new customers in the past year and an increase in grain export volumes in the last quarter of 2013, are signs that a turnaround is ahead.

United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC) and Pacific International Line (PIL) became new customers in 2013, joining the ANW1 string at Terminal 30 in partnership with China Shipping Container Lines’ (CSCL) existing joint service.

UASC began calling at the port last June, and PIL’s first boxes are expected later this month.

“The Port of Seattle has the cargo capacity and is big ship ready,” Managing Director of the Seaport Linda Styrk said. “New customers recognize that we have excellent intermodal infrastructure, a strong export market, and regional distribution facilities, along with a collaborative approach to working with businesses.”

On the grain side of the business, 21 vessels called at the Terminal 86 grain facility in 2013, with 17 calling in the last quarter alone, representing over 80 percent of the year’s volume, according to port data.