Tacoma Imports Tumble 33 Percent
The Journal of Commerce, May 22, 2009
Containerized exports now outweigh imports at Pacific Northwest gateway
Containerized imports at the Port of Tacoma fell 33 percent in April to the lowest level of the year as exports outweighed imports at the Pacific Northwest port long heavily weighted toward outbound traffic.
Figures released by the port showed the imports fell at the steepest rate in any month so far this year compared to last year and that containerized imports fell 15.1 percent in April compared to March.
The 34,785 loaded inbound TEUs counted in Tacoma April also were the fewest the port has handled this year, and in any month in recent years, helping push overall international loaded container traffic at the port down 21.6 percent compared to April 2008.
Loaded export containers also fell 8.1 percent in April compared to last year, and about 10 percent from the March level. But the 40,427 outbound TEUs Tacoma reported in April still surpassed the imported container traffic for the second month in a row, ending several years of inbound dominance at the port. As recently as 2006, the Port of Tacoma had a two-to-one imbalance toward imports in its container business.
Other business is also down sharply. Automobile movements are off 39.3 percent at the port through the first four months of 2009, and intermodal lifts were down 33.9 percent compared to the first four months of last year.
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