Containerized imports through the Port of Tacoma surged 14.6 percent and exports jumped 10.4 percent year-over-year in March, as Pacific Northwest port recovered from a weak February.
Imports of 43,221 20-foot-equivalent units in the month climbed from 37,707 TEUs in March 2011 and were up nearly 40 percent from February's 31,100 TEUs. March's exports of 39,098 TEUs were up from March 2011 exports of 35,441 TEUs and 30 percent ahead of February's 30,014 TEUs.
Year-to-date, imports rose 4.6 percent from the first quarter of 2011, while exports were up 1.3 percent. Total international loads, both inbound and outbound, increased 3.1 percent in the first three months of 2012.
The biggest gainer in Tacoma in the first quarter was breakbulk cargo, which was up 93 percent from the same quarter of 2011. Strong demand for machinery and construction equipment caused the surge in breakbulk cargo, the port reported.
Other big gains recorded through March were grain, up 20 percent, and intermodal lifts, which rose 15 percent compared to the same period last year.