Commissioners at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma have unanimously voted to launch the Northwest Seaport Alliance, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The 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. The alliance is anticipated to double cargo volumes by 2026 and allow the north-western US duo to compete with nearby Canadian ports.
The decision follows news that commissioners from both ports were preparing to hold a discussion regarding an alliance and are said to be retaining full ownership of all independent assets once the alliance is finalized.
The move is considered rare as the two ports had previously been rivals, however as larger containerships come into operation, it is becoming essential for ports to adapt. The ever-changing port market has led smaller ports in the US risking closure because of a failure to mobilize resources.
“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”, said Federal Maritime Commison Chairman Mario Cordero in a news release.
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