Record Volumes in Breakbulk cargo at The Northwest Seaport Alliance

Record Volumes in Breakbulk cargo at The Northwest Seaport Alliance

Handling 366,184 metric tons of breakbulk cargo, 2021 boasted highest breakbulk volumes in NWSA history.

SEATTLE + TACOMA – 2021 marks the highest breakbulk cargo volumes for The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) gateway.  Since 2015, the NWSA has operated breakbulk cargo facilities at East Blair 1 and Terminal 7 in Tacoma.

 “We are proud of our port operated terminals, Port of Tacoma personnel, and the ILWU longshore workforce who has worked diligently to support our record-breaking breakbulk operations,” stated Port of Tacoma Commissioner President and NWSA Co-Chair Don Meyer.  “Breakbulk cargo such as construction and agriculture equipment supports our diversified economy and numerous jobs across Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.”

The majority of breakbulk cargo in 2021 was comprised of ro-ro (roll-on, roll-off) cargo with construction equipment making up 67% of the past year’s cargo volumes. Additional breakbulk types include agriculture, machinery, and mining equipment. The NWSA team also assists cargo owners in moving miscellaneous goods such as boats, helicopters, and other unique cargo.

Breakbulk Cargo Volumes 2021

The surge of breakbulk cargo can be attributed to new customers and carriers calling the NWSA gateway as well as rebounding volumes from covid-impacted operations in 2020. Additionally, high containerized cargo rates have incentivized container cargo shippers to seek creative transportation solutions, utilizing ro-ro.  

Breakbulk volumes are expected to remain high as increased federal infrastructure funding is driving additional demands for construction equipment to work newly funded infrastructure projects across the country.

The NWSA is strategically positioned to excel at moving breakbulk cargo, offering two terminals that handle both breakbulk and auto cargo allowing customers to mix their ro-ro shipments.  NWSA is committed to maintaining diversified cargo opportunities for customers to move their goods – both containerized and breakbulk - through the Seattle + Tacoma gateway.