Container volumes through the Port of Tacoma surged in September, posting a 20 percent gain over the same month last year.
Tacoma handled 225,890 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) last month, making it the port’s busiest month since September 2005 when the Port handled 216,430 TEUs.
The port believes that September’s strong volumes are a signal for the end of the peak shipping season, when retailers increase inventories to prepare for the holiday shopping season. The statistics also reflect additional volume from larger vessels and shipping line alliances calling at Tacoma.
Tacoma handled 1.6 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) through September, a 10 percent increase year to date. Full containerized imports grew 13 percent year to date to 590,418 TEUs, while exports improved 9 percent to 418,713 TEUs. Domestic volumes posted a 4 percent gain year to date to 355,766 TEUs.
Despite recent growth in Tacoma’s container volumes, the Puget Sound gateway continues to lose market share on the West Coast.
The Seaport Alliance, pending review by the Federal Maritime Commission, aims to strengthen the gateway, attract more cargo and grow jobs in the region by unifying the management of the marine cargo terminals at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.