Combined container volume at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma declined 9.9 percent in October from a year earlier, to 285,161 20-foot-equivalent units, extending a slide that began in February.
Loaded international containers moving through the Washington port complex dropped 14.1 percent from October 2012, with imports plummeting 23.2 percent and exports slipping 1.5 percent.
Combined throughput for the ports of Tacoma and Seattle in the last 12 months.
Total throughput at Pacific Northwest ports has declined much of this year, largely because carriers are using their big ships to transport Asian imports into Southern California first and then picking up exports back to Asia out of the Port of Oakland. Carriers are using smaller ships to serve the Pacific Northwest ports. As a result, container volume at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex in October increased year-over-year.
The Port of Tacoma reported its volume in October totaled 154,835 TEUs, down 5.8 percent year-over-year. October imports of full international containers reached 53,557 TEUs, versus 65,801 TEUs in the same month last year, while exports of full international containers were 46,502 TEUs, versus 44,561 TEUs. Total international loaded containers for Tacoma in October fell 9.3 percent to 100,059 TEUs in October 2012. The volume of empty containers increased 1.9 percent to 18,025 TEUs. Total domestic traffic inched rose 1.3 percent year-over-year to 36,751 TEUs.
For the first 10 months of 2013, cargo container volume at Tacoma improved 12.9 percent year-over-year, including 17.0 percent growth in international loaded imports, 19.3 percent growth in international loaded exports and 18.8 percent more international empties.
Seattle reported its October container volume was 130,326 TEUs, down 14.3 percent year-over-year. Monthly exports of full international containers, which fell 7.3 percent year-over-year, were 41,142 TEUs, while loaded imports in October plummeted 28.5 percent to 41,309 TEUs. Total loaded international containers for Seattle slumped 19.3 percent compared with October 2012, reaching 82,451 TEUs, and the volume of empty international containers slid 26.9 percent to 16,887 TEUs. Total domestic traffic was up 15.8 percent year-over-year in October, reaching 30,987 TEUs.
Year-to-date, container volume at Seattle dropped 16.9 percent, including 24.7 percent decline in international loaded imports, a 13.0 percent drop in international loaded exports and a 28.8 percent loss in international empties.
The Journal of Commerce