International container volumes at The Northwest Seaport Alliance rose 22% year-over-year to 262,887 TEUs in September, marking the first time volumes have risen at the Seattle and Tacoma ports in 19 months.
"Consistent vessel arrivals along with increased intact intermodal rail volumes led to the strong performance,” according to a NWSA press release. “Improved vessel schedules also contributed to the increase in export volumes.”
The jump in cargo volumes processed at the port comes as a surprise compared to 169,358 total TEUs processed at the ports in August. In the past twenty four months, the ports have only handled more than 260,000 internationally-destined TEUs three other times: in March 2022, November 2021 and September 2021, according to a Supply Chain Dive analysis.
Auto shipments were also up by 123.5% to 249,216 total units handled year-to-date at the end of September, according to the port operator.
“The September performance improved year-over-year volume comparisons though low-import demand market conditions are expected to continue in the near-term,” the port alliance said in its press release.