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Container Traffic for Ports of Seattle, Tacoma Declined in August

9/25/2013 9:30:01 AM

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma’s combined container volume in August was 296,289 20-foot-equivalent units, declining 5.5 percent from 313,602 TEUs in August 2012.

Loaded international containers moving through the nation’s largest port complex dropped 6.6 percent over the level seen in August 2012, with imports down 9.2 percent year-over-year and exports down 3.0 percent.

The Port of Tacoma reported its volume in August totaled 145,959 TEUs, a decrease of 7.4 percent year-over-year. August imports of full international containers reached 53,405 TEUs, versus 53,642 TEUs in the same month last year, while exports of full international containers were 36,921 TEUs, versus 40,613 TEUs. Total international loaded containers for Tacoma in August fell 4.2 percent to 90,326 TEUs, from 94,255 TEUs in August 2012. The volume of empty containers plunged 37.7 percent to 14,823 TEUs. Total domestic traffic rose 3.1 percent year-over-year to 40,810 TEUs.  

The peak shipping season typically ramps up in July, but Tacoma has yet to see the typical bump in import volumes, the port said in a written statement.

However, for the first eight months of 2013, cargo container volume at Tacoma improved 19.3 percent year-over-year, including 28.5 percent growth in international loaded imports, 25.8 percent growth in international loaded exports and 27.2 percent more international empties.

Meanwhile, the Port of Seattle reported its August container volume was 150,330 TEUs, down 3.6 percent year-over-year. Monthly exports of full international containers, which fell 3.3 percent year-over-year, were 40,526 TEUs, while loaded imports in August plummeted 17.2 percent to 48,594 TEUs. Total loaded international containers for Seattle decreased 9.0 percent compared with August 2012, reaching 89,120 TEUs, and the volume of empty international containers slid 19.7 percent to 20,728 TEUs. Total domestic traffic was up 25.7 percent year-over-year in August, reaching 40,481 TEUs.

Year-to-date, container volume at Seattle dropped 19.1 percent, including a 26.0 percent decline in international loaded imports, a 17.4 percent drop in international loaded exports and a 31.8 percent loss in international empties.

The Journal of Commerce


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