Productivity issues plaguing U.S. West Coast ports since October 31 prompted the Port of Tacoma’s container volumes to dive 8 percent over the same month last year. It marked the end of eight consecutive months of growth.
However, another U.S. West Coast port, Port of Long Beach, reported a 2.1 percent growth in November when compared to the same month last year, mostly due to a 30.2 percent surge in empty containers volume, which was enough to mark the port’s busiest November since 2007.
Tacoma handled 140,218 TEUs in November, bringing year-to-date volumes to 1.9 million TEUs. For the year, Tacoma’s container volumes are up 9.3 percent. Long Beach handled a total of 581,514 TEUs in November. Through November, Long Beach has seen a 1.7 percent increase in cargo.
Grain exports at Tacoma continued to rebound, up 53 percent year to date to 3.9 million short tons. Grain exports, which experienced a bumper crop this year, are returning to normal following last year’s historic lows. Auto imports, intermodal lifts and breakbulk cargo also posted gains, while log exports continued to decline, reflecting decreased demand in China.