Monday, September 21, 2015

Puget Sound Ports Up Again

By Mark Edward Nero

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which is a marine cargo operating partnership between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, said Sept. 17 that its container volumes grew for the sixth straight month in August, improving nearly 15 percent compared to August 2014.

The increase is significant, the ports say, because shipping season hit early last year as shippers sought to avoid possible West Coast labor disruptions during contract negotiations. Last month’s volumes hint at the beginning of 2015’s peak season.

Full containerized imports and empty containerized exports continued to fuel the growth, according to data. Imports improved five percent year to date to 946,390 TEUs, while exports increased eight percent to 849,597 TEUs.

Domestic volumes remained stable last month and were up two percent year to date to 607,780 TEUs. More than 2.4 million TEUs have crossed Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma docks year to date, a five percent increase, according to data.

In other year-to-date cargo news: breakbulk volumes continued to stabilize at the ports and were up less than one percent to 180,616 metric tons; nearly 130,000 auto imports have arrived through August, a seven percent increase; and grain volumes have continued to decline, and are down 18 percent to 3.7 million metric tons through the first eight months of the year.

Additional information about the ports’ year-to-date volumes can be seen at