Port of Tacoma's container volumes are up 37 percent to 469,233 TEUs year to date through March.
Demand for industrial machinery, furniture, auto parts and electronics pushed full import container volumes up nearly 52 percent to 172,421 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). Growth in agricultural and wood products contributed to a 39 percent jump in full containerized exports to 134,867 TEUs.
Domestic volumes to Alaska and Hawaii grew to 103,458 TEUs, improving 7 percent on the year.
Other cargo categories posting year-to-date gains through March include:
Intermodal lifts rose 43 percent to 125,098, reflecting the growth in container volumes. Log exports improved nearly 46 percent to 132,573 short tons as the lumber market continues to improve and demand in China picks up. Auto imports increased 10 percent to 40,372 units, as pent-up demand continues to drive buyers back to auto showrooms.
Meanwhile, breabulk volumes and grain tonnage are down through the first three months of 2013. Breakbulk decreased nearly 27 percent to 45,451 short tons, and the Port expects that volumes for the year will continue to lag behind last year's stellar 68 percent increase. Grain remained down nearly 32 percent, reflecting in part the residual effects of last year's drought in the U.S. Midwest when shippers were forced to source their supply from other countries.