Friday, November 20, 2015

Seattle-Tacoma Volumes Up Almost 3 Percent

By Mark Edward Nero

The percentage of containers imported and exported through the ports of Seattle and Tacoma combined was up 2.8 percent last month compared to the same month in 2014, according to newly released statistics.

The ports, which jointly operate a marine cargo partnership known as the Northwest Seaport Alliance, saw a total of 303,410 TEUs last month, compared to 295,147 in October 2014. For the calendar year to date, the Northwest Seaport Alliance saw container volumes surpass the three million mark in October, a five percent year-to-date increase from the 2.91 million through the first 10 months of 2014.

Containerized exports fueled the growth according to ports’ data, posting a nine percent gain over October 2014. Import volumes declined slightly, signaling the end of the peak shipping season when retailers increase inventories ahead of the holiday shopping season. Through the first 10 months of the year, imports rose four percent to 1,208,091 TEUs, and exports grew nine percent to 1,102,194 TEUs. Domestic volumes to Alaska and Hawaii remained flat, up one percent to 748,769 TEUs.

Auto imports also continued to post gains in October – up more than six percent year to date to 154,291 units – as 2016 models began arriving. Meanwhile, year-to-date breakbulk cargo volumes and grain, log, petroleum and molasses exports were all down by double digits last month as they continue to be impacted by a weaker export market.

Current and historical data regarding the seaports’ cargo volumes can be found here: and information regarding container volumes is available at