Port of Tacoma 2008 cargo volumes reflect global economic conditions

The US Port of Tacoma has prided itself on faring better than most other US West Coast ports, however the port’s 2008 cargo volumes have reflected global economic conditions, and the port has witnessed a fall in cargo volumes due to lower consumer demand and shipping.

While the total tonnage was up 3.6 percent at 20.3 million tonnes, containerized cargo was down 3.3 percent to 1.86 million TEU, breakbulk cargo was down 4.1 percent to 118,523 tonnes and auto units were down 9.1 percent to 159,079 units. There was a significant 13.6 percent in grain volume at 6.69 million tonnes. While cargo volumes declined in 2008, the Port of Tacoma Deputy Executive Director John Wolfe said that the Port’s financial performance remained strong. The Port closed 2008 with US$99.1 million in operating revenue, a 1.3 percent increase over 2007 performance. Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich said the Port of Tacoma is working to plan and build the facilities and infrastructure that will be needed to keep the Port competitive in the future. She said that the current economic climate provided a good period for Port redevelopment and infrastructure investment. “Ports are much more than crossroads in the global supply chain, they are economic drivers for the communities that they serve,” she said.

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