Port of Tacoma container volumes inched closer to the 1 million mark in May, posting a 31 percent gain year to date to 758,071 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
Both imports and exports continue to grow. Full containerized imports improved 45 percent year to date to 281,145 TEUs, while exports rose 38 percent to 213,482 TEUs.
While container volumes continue to reflect the addition of the Grand Alliance and its associated carriers last July, the volumes also reflect positive year-to-date growth from our established customers. Tacoma's international container volumes would be up approximately 3 percent on the year without the new volumes.
International container volumes are expected to continue showing double-digit monthly gains through June and July, but the increases will likely moderate in August. August 2012 marked the first full month of the Grand Alliance calling Tacoma.
On the non-containerized side, year-to-date volumes continue to be mixed:
. Breakbulk volumes benefited from a large export shipment of agricultural equipment but continue to be down 17 percent to 86,201 short tons.
. Auto imports increased 5 percent to 63,625 units, reflecting stronger new car sales due to low interest rates and improving U.S. consumer confidence.
. Intermodal lifts continue to track with container volumes, rising 38 percent to 198,491 lifts.
. Log exports improved 54 percent to 228,716 short tons, though demand is expected to taper off later this year when the construction season in China slows.