A Seattle Shipping Container's Choppy Journey through the Supply Chain

They’re the visitors we don’t talk about, the transient, Lego-like building blocks of the city’s industrial skyline. Every day, shipping containers pass through ports in Seattle and Tacoma via massive vessels hailing from international waters. This colorful cargo may seem rather stationary when stacked next to the Sound, but 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) experience all the bustle of a $66 billion trade overseen by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA).

Where a Seattle Shipping Container Comes From

1. Loaded onto a vessel at a port in Asia (usually), the container travels across the Pacific. About 90 percent of NWSA imports come from the world’s largest

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