Puget Sound container volumes mark sixth straight month of growth

The Northwest Seaport Alliance saw container volumes grow for the sixth straight month in August, improving nearly 15 percent compared to August 2014.

The increase is significant, as peak shipping season—when retailers increase inventories to prepare for the holiday shopping season—hit early last year as shippers sought to avoid possible West Coast labor disruptions during contract negotiations. Last month’s volumes hint at the beginning of 2015’s peak season.

Full containerized imports and empty containerized exports continued to fuel the growth. Imports improved 5 percent year to date to 946,390 TEUs, while exports increased 8 percent to 849,597 TEUs. Domestic volumes remained stable in August, up 2 percent year to date to 607,780 TEUs.

More than 2.4 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) have crossed NWSA docks year to date, a 5 percent increase.

In other year-to-date cargo news:

  • Breakbulk volumes continued to stabilize, up less than 1 percent to 180,616 metric tons
  • Nearly 130,000 auto imports have arrived through August, a 7 percent increase
  • Grain volumes continued to decline, down 18 percent to 3.7 million metric tons

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. 

View the August 2015 cargo reports: