The Daily Mash-Up

Saturday, November 28, 2015 This Week's Paper
Port of Tacoma container volumes up through July, although growth moderates

Nearly 1.1 million containers have crossed Port of Tacoma docks through July, marking a 24 percent increase year to date.

Despite the gain on the year, container volume growth appears to be moderating, as expected. International volumes had posted double-digit gains through the first six months of the year but grew only 3 percent last month. With lagging domestic volumes factored in, overall container growth was flat compared to July 2012.

The tempered growth was expected. July marked the first month-over-month comparison that included the Grand Alliance in both the 2013 and 2012 volumes. The alliance began calling Tacoma last July.

Additionally, the West Coast benefited to some extent last summer from cargo diverted from the East and Gulf coasts due to uncertainty surrounding labor negotiations with those ports. That cargo appears to have returned to the East and Gulf coast ports in 2013.

Meanwhile, non-containerized cargo volumes continue to be mixed year to date:

Intermodal lifts continued to mirror container volumes, posting a 28 percent increase to 283,996 lifts.
Auto imports grew 2 percent, propelled by a 21 percent increase on the month due to additional vessel calls.
Log exports were up 52 percent to 323,858 short tons, though demand is expected to taper off later this year when the construction season in China slows.
Breakbulk volumes continued to lag behind last year's record-breaking volumes, down 21 percent.

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