The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) will host the Agriculture Transportation Coalition’s annual meeting from June 12-15 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. The coalition represents agricultural shippers, and with more than 400 people registered to attend, the meeting is expected to be the largest gathering of agricultural and forest products transportation professionals in the country.

“As a strategic export gateway for agricultural and forest products in the U.S., the Northwest Seaport Alliance is proud to host AgTC’s 30th annual meeting,” Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle commission president and NWSA co-chair, said in a statement. “With booming economies in Asia paired with a growing appetite for our agricultural and forest products, ports, and the agricultural community should work together to promote the flow of goods and reduction of trade barriers.”

The NWSA is a partnership between the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle, formed in 2014. According to a Descartes Datamyne report that ranks the top 20 ocean ports in the U.S. based on import volume, the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle landed at 9 and 10, respectively, in 2017. Together the ports are the top export gateway for refrigerated commodities, and the second-largest export gateway for agricultural and forest products. In 2016, those exports totaled about $6.8 billion, or 76 percent of the NWSA containerized exports.

Members of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition import and export food, farm, and fiber products, and ship more than 2 million containers per year.

Supported by the City of Tacoma, Pierce County, and the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County, next week’s event will feature networking, discussions of best practices, ways to improve the shipping environment, and more. Speakers at the event include Josh Dolan, director of global inbound supply chain and logistics at Amazon; Rebecca Dye, federal maritime commissioner; and Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express.