Commissioners from the ports of Tacoma and Seattle have formally launched the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the first of its kind in North America, according to Maritime Executive.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance unifies the two ports’ marine cargo terminal investments, operations, planning and marketing to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo to the region.
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the federal agency that oversees the shipping industry, voted unanimously to approve the agreement last month.
FMC Chairman Mario Cordero said, “This alliance would become the third-largest trade gateway in North America, behind the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the Port of New York/New Jersey. The Pacific Northwest is a key region for inbound and outbound United States cargo, moving cargo not only for the regional trade, but also cargo headed to destinations throughout the entire U.S. Midwest, and this Alliance will help the region remain competitive into the future.”
While the ports remain separate organizations that retain ownership of their respective assets, they formed a port development authority (PDA) to manage the container, breakbulk, auto and some bulk terminals in Seattle and Tacoma. The airport; cruise business; marinas, such as Fisherman’s Terminal; grain terminals and industrial real estate, such as the Northwest Innovation Works and Puget Sound Energy facilities and Terminal 91 uplands, will remain outside the alliance.
The PDA will be governed jointly by the two ports through their elected commissions.
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