Tag Archives: Port of Seattle

Port of Seattle Prepares for Megaships – Design Phase Test Pile Driving

Seattle is making preparations to allow megaships to pull into Seattle as another west-coast shipping option at Terminal 5.  This terminal is currently the only one with direct rail access, greatly reducing the short-haul trucking required on Seattle’s crowded surface streets between the dock and the rail yards.

Contractors will begin driving test piles at Terminal 5 in Seattle the first week of January. The installation will last through March.  The pile driving and testing is part of the design phase of the terminal’s improvements.
 
Planned dock improvements will make the terminal capable of accommodating heavier cranes and provide deeper drafts to handle the megaships cascading into the trans-Pacific trade. These terminal improvements are aimed at helping us compete in a changing marketplace to support the jobs we have and create new ones, while continuing to drive economic benefits for our communities and customers.
 
Test results could help reduce the final number of piles required and refine the depth of installation during berth construction. This could help save money and reduce construction-related noise.
 
About 27 piles will be installed at the edge of the Terminal 5 wharf. Installation and testing will take place 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays in compliance with the City of Seattle’s noise ordinance.
 
Once installed, some of the piles will be tested using a method known as rapid-load testing. The testing sounds like a half-second cannon shot. The sound can be as loud as 145 decibels at a distance of 50 feet. Nine tests are planned, with no more than one test per day.

Questions about the pile driving and testing may be directed to 206-787-6886 or Terminal5_Outreach@portseattle.org.

Photo credit – Hanjin megaship passes under the Golden Gate Bridge – ship-technology.com

Ports of Seattle and Tacoma Form Seaport Alliance

Unified management structure targets increased marine cargo, addresses competitive threats.

The Seattle and Tacoma port commissions plan to unify the management of the two ports’ marine cargo terminals and related functions under a single Seaport Alliance in order to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo for the region.

The Seaport Alliance will manage marine cargo terminal investments and operations, planning and marketing, while the individual port commissions will retain their existing governance structures and ownership of assets.

This unprecedented level of cooperation between the state’s two largest container ports is a strategic response to the competitive pressures that are reshaping the global shipping industry.

Taken together, marine cargo operations at both ports support more than 48,000 jobs across the region and provide a critical gateway for the export of Washington state products to Asia.

“The ports of Seattle and Tacoma face fierce competition from ports throughout North America, as shipping lines form alliances, share space on ever-larger vessels and call at consolidated terminals at fewer ports,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich. “Working together, we can better focus on financially sustainable business models that support customer success and ensure our ability to reinvest in terminal assets and infrastructure.”

“Where we were once rivals, we now intend to be partners,” said Stephanie Bowman, co-President of the Port of Seattle Commission. “Instead of competing against one another, we are combining our strengths to create the strongest maritime gateway in North America. The Seaport Alliance is the result of our shared commitment to maintaining the economic health of our region through a thriving maritime industry.”

The Seaport Alliance is the outgrowth of talks held under the sanction and guidance of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system.

Subject to further FMC review and approval, the two port commissions will enter into an Interlocal Agreement (ILA), which is intended to provide the ports with a framework for a period of due diligence to examine business objectives, strategic marine terminal investments, financial returns, performance metrics, organizational structure, communications and public engagement. Following the due diligence period, the two port commissions intend to submit a more detailed agreement for the Seaport Alliance to the FMC by the end of March 2015.

During the due diligence period, John Wolfe, Port of Tacoma CEO, and Kurt Beckett, Port of Seattle Deputy CEO, will co-lead the planning work and coordinate with both port commissions.

Commissioners from both ports expect to hold a public meeting next spring to hire Wolfe as the CEO of the Seaport Alliance following the FMC’s approval of the agreement.

The two commissions expect to formally adopt and move to submit the ILA to the FMC at a joint public meeting Oct. 14.

Citizen and stakeholder public review of this proposal will be undertaken throughout the due diligence period. Information about public meetings, how to submit written comments and other related news will be regularly updated on the Port of Tacoma and Port of Seattle websites.
 

 Photo credit: Hollingsworth / Foter / CC BY-SA

 

Port of Seattle, Eagle Marine Agree to Make Terminal 5 BIG Ship Ready

The Port of Seattle and Eagle Marine Services (EMS), operator of Terminal 5, announced on May 16th a proposal to relocate its cargo and breakbulk activities to another terminal so that the port can modernize Terminal 5 to handle the bigger ships that are changing international shipping. 
 
“If we’re going to keep jobs in Washington state, we need investments that make us globally competitive,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant. “That’s why we’re rebuilding T5.  We’re investing in jobs.  Modernizing T5 so it can handle the new big ships is the first step in realigning our port for the future.”
 
“As we are working to preserve maritime jobs in Seattle, the Commission is moving forward to strengthen cooperation with the Port of Tacoma to increase trade in Puget Sound,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton.  “We’re having productive talks on how we can make the Puget Sound gateway more competitive and create new jobs.” 
 
“ILWU Local 19 appreciates the work the Port of Seattle and terminal operators are doing to keep cargo here in Seattle by making each of our terminals big ship ready,” said ILWU Local 19 President Cam Williams.  “By preparing for the future, we insure that jobs will stay in the region.”
 
Shipping lines are consolidating into new alliances, and have been launching much bigger ships as part of their strategy to reduce costs. While three of the port’s container terminals are already home to Super Post-Panamax cranes that service 10,000 TEU vessels and above, the existing cranes at Terminal 5 are not able to handle these bigger ships.
 
Under the proposal, EMS would shift its operations to Terminal 18, allowing EMS to preserve container volume and ship calls. This commitment will preserve maritime jobs that depend on cargo flowing today through T5. Cargo destined to T5, under this proposal, would begin transitioning to T18 in mid-June.  The proposal with EMS is tentative pending approval by the Port of Seattle Commission.
 
“T5 needs to be modernized for the bigger ships that are already here, we applaud the Port in working with us to preserve our customers’ cargo through this gateway,” said Nathaniel Seeds, COO of Eagle Marine Services, Ltd.
 
Maintaining efficient cargo throughput is essential for moving goods in and out of the port.  With four in ten jobs in Washington dependent on trade, these terminal improvements will insure that Washington goods can get out of the Port of Seattle and into markets world-wide.
 
“Preserving vessel service capacity is good for exporters, we appreciate the Port of Seattle’s efforts to keep this gateway competitive,” said Anderson Hay CEO & President Mark Anderson.
 
The Port has also received approval from the federal government to let the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begin studying the potential for a project that may result in the deepening of the West Waterway channel near the terminal.