Container volumes through the Port of Tacoma are up 35 percent to 617,076 TEUs year to date through April.
Full containerized imports and exports posted double-digit growth. Imports improved 48 percent year to date to 226,676 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), while exports grew 40 percent to 177,185 TEUs. Container volumes continue to reflect the addition of the Grand Alliance and its associated carriers last July, as well as other ocean carriers gaining new customers and rotating larger vessels into services calling Tacoma.
Domestic volumes to and from Alaska and Hawaii improved 6 percent on the year.
Other year-to-date gains through April include:
Auto imports increased 7 percent to 52,372 units, reflecting the low interest rates and improving U.S. consumer confidence contributing to increased new car sales.
Intermodal lifts rose 40 percent to 160,829, reflecting the continued growth in container volumes.
While log exports improved 64 percent to 194,226 short tons, demand is expected to taper off later this year when the construction season in China slows.
Year-to-date volume declines continued in grain and breakbulk cargo, which are items too big or bulky to fit in a container. Breakbulk decreased 23 percent to 64,774 short tons, and we anticipate 2013 volumes will lag significantly behind last year's record-breaking 260,000 short tons. Grain volumes were down 39 percent. Last year's drought in the U.S. Midwest appears to have shifted global sourcing from North America to South America.