The Seattle and Tacoma port commissions in the US have announced plans to unify the management of the two ports’ marine cargo terminals and related functions under a single Seaport Alliance. The move is designed to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo for the region.
The Seaport Alliance will manage the 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.”
Subject to further Federal Maritime Commission review and approval, the two port commissions will enter into an Interlocal Agreement, 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.
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