Washington's Port of Tacoma handled 1.7 million 20-foot-equivalent units in 2012, making it the best year since 2008.
Double-digit growth in both imports and exports fueled the 16 percent gain in the port’s container volumes.
Full containerized imports increased more than 27 percent for the year to 611,085 TEUs, driven by demand for auto parts, furniture, toys and sporting goods. Agricultural products and bulk commodities helped push full export container volumes up almost 22 percent to 457,078 TEUs.
The Grand Alliance and its associated carriers helped increase container vessel calls by 10 percent.
In December 2012, the port handled 176,658 TEUs, jumping 45 percent from December 2011. December volume was propelled by cargo diverted from Southern California ports during the eight-day labor strike in late November and early December.
Additionally, intermodal lifts grew 30 percent, reflecting the port’s growing container volume.
For 2013, the port forecasts a 14 percent increase in container volume.