Northwest Seaport Alliance reports July increase of nearly 8 percent in cargo volume over 2014

In their first report as the combined Northwest Seaport Alliance, the ports of Tacoma and Seattle have announced that container shipping volumes have continued to increase, with July’s figure up by nearly 8 percent compared with July 2014.

In July, the alliance reported a total of 296,349 TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, compared with 274,593 TEUs in July 2014.

Through the first seven months of the year, the alliance has handled nearly 2.1 million TEUs, indicating an increase of 4 percent since January 1.

Among other data released this week by the alliance:

▪  Containerized imports rose by 3 percent since the year began, with a figure through July of 823,695 TEUs.

▪  Export containers grew nearly 6 percent year-to-date, with 733,150 TEUs. Part of the increase came thanks to a high volume of empty containers being returned to Asia.

▪  Full export containers “struggled In July,” according to the alliance, falling 13.6 percent year-to-date as the result of “a stronger U.S. dollar and softening economies in Japan and China.” Also, extreme heat and drought in the Northwest challenged the state’s agricultural output.

▪  Auto imports rose nearly 8 percent to 109,950 units.

▪  Breakbulk cargo volumes have stabilized, down less than 1 percent to 162,090 tons.

▪  Grain exports continued their slide, down more than 11 percent to 3,690,251 metric tons.

▪  Year-to-date, the total of Alaska trade from the alliance stood up 3.2 percent compared with a year ago, while Hawaii trade rose 3.9 percent.

▪  The number of empty containers being returned internationally rose 83.6 percent, while the number of empty containers delivered to alliance piers fell 22.1 percent.

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535