The volume of international containers through the Puget Sound rebounded in 2015 with the Northwest Seaport Alliance handling more than 3.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the alliance said in a release Thursday.
That’s an increase of 4 percent over the year before.
Container volumes grew “despite the slowing Chinese economy and volume declines earlier in the year during West Coast labor negotiations,” the alliance stated.
The ports of Seattle and Tacoma joined forces last summer to form the NSA.
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International container activity grew 8 percent. Full containers saw a gain of nearly 5 percent in imports to 1.4 million TEUs. Export containers improved 12 percent to 1.3 million TEUs, “powered by the high volume of empty containers being sent back to Asia,” alliance figures showed.
Domestic volumes fell 8 percent to 768,635 TEUs. Alaska’s economy has slowed because of record-low oil prices, resulting in less oil and gas-related project cargo heading north. Auto imports reached a record high in 2015, up 4 percent to 183,305 vehicles. Breakbulk cargo — items too large of bulky to fit in a container — fell nearly 8 percent.
“We expect to continue to see an increase in cargo volumes and related jobs in the region,” said John Wolfe, NSA CEO.
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