October 8 - The US ports of Seattle and Tacoma plan to unify the management of the two gateway's marine cargo terminals and related functions under a single Seaport Alliance.
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.
"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.
The Seaport Alliance is the outgrowth of talks held under the sanction and guidance of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Subject to further FMC review and approval, the two port commissions will enter into an Interlocal Agreement (ILA).
Following a period of due diligence to examine business objectives, 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.
The two commissions expect to formally adopt and move to submit the ILA to the FMC at a joint public meeting on October 14.
Port of Tacoma.