the film
Economic and dam related articles

Port of Tacoma Posts Record Year in 2004

by Staff, February 16, 2005

TACOMA -- The Port of Tacoma strengthened its position as a leading North American seaport in 2004, setting Port records for total tonnage, container volume and intermodal lifts.

"During a record year of construction and capital investment at the Port, our customers, our labor partners and our business partners consistently set new records for productivity," said Timothy J. Farrell, the Port's Executive Director.

According to Doug Ljungren the Port's Business Planning Manager, the growth of the trans-Pacific trade, combined with diversion of ocean carrier business from other ports to Tacoma, helped drive the following 2004 cargo volumes through Tacoma:

"In 2004, the Port of Tacoma invested a record $115 million in facilities and infrastructure, building the foundation for our customers to grow and be successful here in Tacoma," said R. Ted Bottiger, President of the Port of Tacoma Commission. "The high cargo volumes and the productivity of 2004 are the result of years of planning, and the result of the hard work of the entire maritime and transportation community."

According to Farrell, 2004 continued an extended period of strong for the Port's container business. "We are in an expansion mode, with the move of Evergreen to a new 171-acre mega-terminal and the doubling "K" Line's terminal size to 93 acres. We are also expanding an existing terminal to accommodate a new customer, Yang Ming."

Strong Year for Non-Containerized Business

In 2004, the Port's breakbulk business grew 14 percent to a total of 117,000 short tons – the highest volume in five years. According to Ljungren, this increase was due to additional machinery and equipment imports and military shipments, which accounted for 25,000 short tons.

The Port's grain exports (70 percent corn and 30 percent soybeans) hit an all-time record at 6.7 million short tons, surpassing the previous Port record, set in 1989. Ljungren explains that this high activity level is the result of a strong export market for U.S. grains, driven by favorable shipping rates from the Pacific Northwest and a weakening U.S. dollar.

Financial Performance

The Port out-performed 2004 revenue projections by 3.5 percent. "We are proud that the Port of Tacoma exceeded its financial goals in 2004 while making record capital investments," said Port Commissioner Connie Bacon, noting that revenues are reinvested into capital development, including environmental and regional transportation programs.

The Port's financial results are expected to dip in 2005 as customers transition to renovated terminals. "In 2005, Evergreen will have completed its transition to Pierce County Terminal, and we will expand "K" Line's terminal and bring Yang Ming into the fold," said Farrell. "The capital investment and operating expenses associated with these changes will have a financial impact in 2005. Look for strong performance in 2006 and beyond as these investments begin producing revenue."

2005 Projections

Looking ahead, Port officials expect 2005 to be a year of dramatic cargo growth, particularly in international containerized cargo.

"The entire Port community – our customers, the railroads, labor and our staff – have diligently worked to build North America's most efficient intermodal gateway," Farrell said. "Much of what we accomplished in 2004 will set the stage for what we anticipate to be very strong growth in 2005 and beyond."

According to Ljungren, the Ports 2005 cargo forecast includes:

About the Port of Tacoma

A major gateway to Asia and Alaska, the Port of Tacoma is a leading North American seaport, handling more than $29 billion in annual trade and 1.8 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent containers Units) in 2004. The Port is also a major center for bulk breakbulk and project/heavy-lift cargoes, as well as automobiles. To learn more about the Port of Tacoma, visit

Related Pages:
Cities on Different Roads in Seeking Port's Help by Catherine Trevison, The Oregonian, 2/16/5

Port of Tacoma Posts Record Year in 2004, February 16, 2005

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation