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Seattle and Tacoma ports losing volume to Canadian rivals

Barely a month after Seattle and Tacoma formed the Northwest Seaport Alliance a commissioned study says the two Washington State ports are badly underused.

And they are losing out on cargo business to ports in Canada.

So says KUOW radio station in Seattle.

The study, commissioned by both Seattle and Tacoma, was conducted by logistics and infrastructure advisors Mercator International last year and notes a pattern of reduced container volumes for both the Puget Sound ports over the past nine years. Meanwhile Canadian ports have been picking up business.

The formation of the Northwest Seaport Alliance created the third largest cargo gateway in North America – after Los Angeles/Long Beach and New York/New Jersey – consolidating their resources and streamlining some of their services.

Those benefits may need to start kicking in quickly as the study says Seattle and Tacoma represent the most underused ports in the US.

The main cause of the fall-off, according to KUOW’s report on the study, is that the ports have been unable to handle the massive growth in the size of container ships. And with even larger classes of vessels on the way, that’s a problem that needs solving.

KUOW 94.9 is a National Public Radio member station.

Mercator International is based in Kirkland, Washington.

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Published on:
September 4, 2015
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