Asian demand for grain helped pushed loaded container exports up 14.2 percent at the Port of Tacoma in the first 11 months of 2011.
Total container traffic is up 3.2 percent year-over-year to 1.3 million 20-foot container units at the Washington port. Speciality grains, along with paper, paperboard and wood products, are the port’s main containerized exports.
Loaded imports rose 1.2 percent in the same period, paralleling the weak shipping season other Northewest ports have seen because of feeble U.S. consumer demand. Container traffic to and from Alaska and Hawaii was down 2.6 percent year-over-year.
Auto unit traffic at the port rose 36.4 percent to 143,500 vehicles in the same period, while shipments of the port’s largest bulk commodity, grain, fell 4.4 percent. A 68.8 percent jump in log exports helped boost the port’s total tonnage 5.5 percent to 15.8 million tons of cargo.