Despite fewer ships calling to terminals in Tacoma and Seattle thus far this year, Northwest Seaport Alliance is reporting an 8 percent year-to-date increase in container cargo through February.
International container volumes just for February remained steady at a 9.1 percent gain over 2016, even though the Lunar New Year holiday began more than 10 days earlier that last year. Factories in China traditionally shut down production for up to two weeks in observance of the holiday.
Total domestic volumes declined almost 8 percent this February, with Alaska shipments down more than 6 percent. Containers headed to the 49th State are expected to decline 5 to 6 percent for all of 2016 due to soft market conditions up north. On the other hand, trade with Hawaii from Puget Sound terminals is expected to show modest growth in 2017.
Breakbulk cargo is down 4 percent so far this year due to market conditions and autos entering the U.S. market through Tacoma are off by 6 percent.
You can see comparative cargo volume reports over the past five years at this link.