January 22 - Although the Northwest Seaport Alliance handled more than 3.5 million teu in 2015, a 4 percent year-on-year increase, its breakbulk cargo volumes fell by almost 8 percent.

Domestic volumes also fell 8 percent during the reporting period. The alliance attributed this fall to Alaska's slowing economy due to the record low oil prices, which have resulted in less oil and gas related project cargoes being transported north.

However, auto imports reached a new record in 2015, up 4 percent compared with 2014.

"With the strong support from our labour partners, along with a focus on operational excellence, customer care and strategic infrastructure investments, we expect to continue to see an increase in cargo volumes and related jobs in the region," said Northwest Seaport Alliance ceo John Wolfe.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma formed the Northwest Seaport Alliance in August in order to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo to the region.