By Mark Edward Nero
In 2016, the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma handled a combined 3.61 million TEUs for the year, an increase of more than two percent from 2015 volumes.
The maritime operations of the two ports are collectively known as the Northwest Seaport Alliance.
Full imports for the year were up six percent to 1.39 million TEUs and full exports increased 13 percent to 984,274 TEUs, according to Seaport Alliance data.
Domestic volumes saw a slight dip in 2016 as Alaska struggled with a decline in oil- and gas-related project activity due to low commodity prices. Domestic volumes decreased 1.5 percent for the year.
December’s full import volumes recorded their highest for the month over the last five years. Following a solid November for full international imports and exports, the Seaport Alliance had another strong month in December, with 14 percent and six percent increases, respectively, compared with December 2015, data show.
Regarding other cargo, breakbulk was down 23 percent for the year to 181,372 metric tons as the Seaport Alliance said that global downturn in agricultural, mining and construction equipment, and a strong US dollar impacted volumes.
Log exports declined 25 percent for the year to 176,928 metric tons due to what the Alliance said was decreased demand in China and competition from New Zealand.
Auto units fell 10 percent to 165,687 units for year, with the cause blamed on production issues as well as supply chain shifts.
The ports container volumes for last month can be seen at https://www.nwseaportalliance.com/sites/default/files/seaport_alliance_full_mty_by_month_2015vs16_1.pdf, while December 2016 cargo statistics can be seen at https://www.nwseaportalliance.com/sites/default/files/seaport-alliance-5-year_history-12_dec.pdf