Port of Seattle’s box traffic up 17% in April
Container traffic at the port of Seattle jumped 17 percent in April to 142,037 TEUs, led by a whopping 23-percent year-on-year increase in full inbound containers, the U.S. Pacific Northwest port reported.
However, the latest monthly statistics show uneven growth since the beginning of the year. Year-to-date, the port’s overall container volume is up 4 percent to 490,085 TEUs.
Loaded containers from Asia discharged at the port of Seattle rose 10 percent in the first four months of the year to 188,011 TEUs. Loaded boxes shipped from Seattle to Asia increased 3 percent to 114,171 TEUs.
“While our container volumes have been up and down this year, April’s year-to-date performance puts the port of Seattle right in line with the Washington Public Ports Association’s new cargo forecast projections,” said Mark Knudsen, deputy managing director, seaport, at the port of Seattle.
The Washington Public Ports Association released its 2004 marine cargo forecast last week at its Spring Meeting in Vancouver, Wash. The forecast has been updated and issued by the association about every five years since 1980.
“The Washington Public Ports Association forecast projects an annualized growth rate of 4.6 percent for international containers at Puget Sound ports, contrasted with a 1.7 percent annualized growth rate for domestic containers through 2025,” the port of Seattle said. At that rate of growth, Puget Sound ports will handle an estimated 6.9 million TEUs by 2025, more than double the 3.23 million TEUs the ports moved in 2003.
At the port of Seattle, the largest container port in the Puget Sound area, more than 97 percent of container volume is international cargo.
“The strong increase in full inbound containers in April is an indication of an improving regional and national economy,” Knudsen said. He also attributes the increased volumes to previous investments in port infrastructures. A $71-million expansion of terminal 46 at the port of Seattle will be complete this fall.