The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) reported double digit increases in cargo volumes through the Port of Boston from January through June of 2004 as compared to January through June of 2003. TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) processed through Massport's Conley container terminal rose 12% to 83,443 TEU from 74,538 TEU. Overall container tonnage rose 17% to 643,073 tons from 551,073 tons.
With direct service to and from the Far East firmly established in the Port of Boston, exports from the New England region are showing pronounced growth. When comparing the first six months of 2004 to 2003, export tonnage alone grew to 227,554 tons from 189,317 tons, accounting for a 20% increase during this period. The rise in cargo volumes in the Port of Boston is the result of a combination of factors, said Mike Leone, director for the Port of Boston. Expanded service to and from The Port of Boston has provided more opportunities to ship to more global markets in less time. Coupled with a generally healthy economy, this has had a positive impact. Two years ago, the steamship alliance of COSCO, K Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin (CKYH) began direct inbound service to the Port of Boston. Last year, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) also expanded service in the Port of Boston by adding an additional weekly vessel. MSC calls Boston with direct inbound service from Northern Europe and from the Mediterranean. Since Far East service from Boston began two years ago, the ratio of imports to exports has narrowed from 2.5:1 to 1.6:1. One of Boston's largest export commodities is forest products including timber and waste paper. Waste paper is often recycled overseas where it is made into cardboard boxes or packing material and used to ship imported goods to the west. The Port of Boston is the largest port serving the New England region. Top imports include: alcoholic beverages, frozen fish, footwear and furniture. Top exports include: hides, logs and lumber, paper and paper ware including waste paper and metal ware.