Port of Tacoma container volumes continue climb; Sept. stats up nearly 40 percent

Container volumes through the Port of Tacoma continued to climb in September, posting a 37 percent gain over the same month last year, Port officials announced Thursday. Port terminals handled 195,718 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) last month compared to 142,920 in September 2011. For the year, container volumes are up more than 11 percent to 1,220,615 TEUs.

Tacoma’s container volumes continue to reflect the addition of the Grand Alliance and its associated services in July, as well as strong volumes from established customers. The Port saw 113 vessel calls in September, an increase of nearly 32 percent compared with the same month last year, according to Port officials.

With peak shipping season well under way, import container volumes surged nearly 22 percent year to date as retailers stock up for the holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday sales will increase 4.1 percent this year.

A record Washington apple crop is contributing to Tacoma’s increased export container volumes, which grew 14 percent year to date. Meanwhile, domestic volumes were down less than one percent for the year.

In other cargo news, breakbulk volumes remain strong, up nearly 84 percent, and intermodal lifts grew more than 28 percent year to date. Logs continue to lag, down 41 percent, and autos dipped for the second straight month, down four percent.

More information about Port of Tacoma container statistics is online here.