Containerized cargo volumes dropped by one percent in May at the Port of Tacoma, but container traffic for the year is up 5.9 percent over 2010 thanks to better performance earlier this month.
The downturn ended a streak of higher monthly volumes that began last October.
Though containers are traditionally the most important measure of a port’s performance, the Port of Tacoma has seen substantial increases in other cargo categories to compensate for the small downturn in containers.
Log exports, a moribund business, that local timber companies and the port revived in the last two years were up 384.5 percent through May.
Breakbulk shipments, cargo too oddly shaped or too large to be transported in containers, were up 61.7 percent through this year’s fifth month, said the port.
And auto imports improved by 41.4 percent through May 31. Some 86,407 cars were handled on the port’s docks through that date compared with 61,100 through the end of May 2010.
Grain exports were up 8.6 percent while gypsum shipments rose by 110 percent, said the port in its latest cargo update.