The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, saw container volumes surpass the 3 million mark in October, a 5 percent increase year to date.
Containerized exports fueled the growth, posting a 9 percent gain over October 2014. Import volumes declined slightly, signaling the end of the peak shipping season when retailers increase inventories ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Through the period of January-October 2015, imports rose 4 percent to 1.208,091 TEUs, and exports grew 9 percent to 1.102,194 TEUs.
Domestic volumes to Alaska and Hawaii remained flat, up 1 percent to 748,769 TEUs.
Auto imports also continued to post gains in October—up more than 6 percent year to date to 154,291 units—as the 2016 models began arriving.
Meanwhile, year-to-date breakbulk cargo volumes and grain, log, petroleum and molasses exports continue to be impacted by a weaker export market.