Container volumes stabilize at Puget Sound ports in May

Container volumes through the Puget Sound’s two largest ports grew moderately in May, despite a drop in vessel calls.

Vessel calls at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma fell 5 percent year to date in May, but larger vessels are bringing additional cargo through the ports. Container volumes improved nearly 2 percent year to date in May to 1,428,057 TEUs.

Containerized exports improved 2 percent year to date to 499,620 TEUs, while imports remained flat, up 1 percent to 579,029 TEUs. Domestic volumes were up 3 percent to 349,408 TEUs.

In other year-to-date cargo news:

  • Breakbulk volumes were down 3 percent to 117,305 metric tons
  • Grain exports fell 3 percent to 3,426,768 metric tons
  • Auto imports grew 5 percent to 75,254 units
  • Molasses posted a 9 percent gain to 23,561 metric tons

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma plan to form The Northwest Seaport Alliance to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more cargo for the region. The ports submitted a final agreement to the Federal Maritime Commission for approval at a joint meeting June 5.