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Port of Tacoma container volume up nearly 20 percent with coming of the Grand Alliance

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm with No Comments »
August 21, 2012 3:55 pm

The results are in from the first full month of new business at the Port of Tacoma from the container shipping consortium the Grand Alliance, and the numbers are encouraging.

Container volume is up 19.4 percent, according to figures from the Port of Tacoma. The port handled 146,010 container units in July compared with 122,322 in the same month in 2011.

The Grand Alliance is a partnership of four container shipping companies, NYK, OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd and Zim, that have agreed to share space on each other’s ships in the transPacific trade. The Grand Alliance, which formerly called on the Port of Seattle, moved to the Port of Tacoma’s Washington United Terminal on the Blair Waterway early last month.

The port’s monthly cargo update also shows other positive news. Breakbulk cargoes, those too large or oddly configured to fit in standard shipping containers, were up 87.4 percent through July for the year. Gysum imports were higher by 117.2 percent, and auto imports and exports jumped by 5.5 percent for the year through July.

The news wasn’t all good, however. Log exports, which had risen sharply for the last two years, fell by 40 percent through last month. A weaker demand from China was blamed for the business decline. Grain shipments were also off by 5 percent for the year, port figures showed.

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