Port of Tacoma: New shipping lines boost July cargo volumes

Container volumes through the Port of Tacoma jumped 20 percent compared to the same month last year, boosted by the addition of new shipping lines and services, as well as continued strong volumes from established customers, Port officials announced Monday.

The Grand Alliance — a consortium that includes three of the world’s largest shipping lines, including Hapag-Lloyd (based in Germany), Orient Overseas Container Line (Hong Kong) and NYK Line (Japan), and associated carrier ZIM Integrated Shipping (Israel) — began calling Tacoma’s Washington United Terminals July 2.

The Port handled 146,010 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) year to date through July, accounting for an overall four percent improvement. Imports and exports showed continued gains year to date, with full containerized imports rising nearly 16 percent and exports jumping five percent.

International empty containers showed promise in July with the highest monthly volume so far this year, though volumes remain down about 11 percent year to date. The higher volumes are in part due to the Grand Alliance repositioning equipment, as well as lines preparing for increasing volumes as we move into the peak shipping season.

Other year-to-date Tacoma cargo results include the following: intermodal lifts rose 21 percent, reflecting the strength of container volumes; agricultural and construction equipment continued to fuel breakbulk’s 87 percent gains; and logs remain down 40 percent, reflecting continued slowing in China.

Complete Port of Tacoma cargo stats are available online here.