Port of Seattle cargo traffic down from year ago

Port of Tacoma has handled 59.1 percent of container traffic between the two ports, while the Port of Seattle has seen the other 40.9 percent.

By Coral Garnick, October 22, 2014, Seattle Times

Container traffic through the Port of Seattle was down 23 percent in September compared to the same month last year, while the Port of Tacoma saw a 20 percent increase during the same period.

 

In September ships carried 109,340 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) through the Port of Seattle, compared to 225,890 TEUs carried through the Port of Tacoma.

 

So far in 2014, the Port of Tacoma has handled 59.1 percent of container traffic between the two ports, while Seattle has seen the other 40.9 percent.

 

“We used to trade smaller cargo volumes between the two ports, going back and forth in a 49-to-51 percent split,” said Port of Tacoma spokeswoman Tara Mattina. “In 2010, in the midst of the recession, shipping lines began forming the alliances to cut costs.”

 

Now, as the gap widens between the two ports’ local market share, they also continue to lose market share to other West Coast ports — especially the growing Ports of Prince Rupert and Vancouver in British Columbia.

 

Earlier this month, to regain marketshare and become more competitive as a state, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma announced a Seaport Alliance that will manage and operate the marine cargo business of both ports. It was approved on Oct. 14.

 

By combing the cargo operations, the ports hope to attract more cargo to the region and in turn, create more jobs. The first of a series of public meetings, including updates on the Seaport Alliance, is Wednesday in Tacoma at Noon.

 

 

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