South Mountain Freeway on Track for 2020 Completion

NWSA Managing Members Authorize $340M Terminal 5 Upgrade Construction

Tue April 09, 2019 - West Edition #8
Northwest Seaport Alliance


The Berth Modernization Project includes reconstruction of the waterside and landside crane rails; slope stabilization; berth deepening; electrical supply/distribution upgrades; new fender system; and structural rehabilitation of the dock.
The Berth Modernization Project includes reconstruction of the waterside and landside crane rails; slope stabilization; berth deepening; electrical supply/distribution upgrades; new fender system; and structural rehabilitation of the dock.

The managing members of The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) voted to approve lease agreements and authorize construction on the Terminal 5 Modernization Program, readying it to return to use as a premier international container terminal. In addition, an interlocal agreement was approved, allowing the Port of Seattle to use a portion of Terminal 46 for a cruise berth.

"The modernization of Terminal 5 represents a transformative investment in our region to support our state's economy," said Stephanie Bowman, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of the NWSA. "These actions will ensure robust and competitive marine cargo and maritime industrial activities in our harbor for the next 30 years, sustaining and creating family-wage jobs and economic opportunity for the region."

The Berth Modernization Project provides improvements necessary to serve newer, larger vessels. The improvements include crane rail strengthening, berth deepening, and electrical upgrades. The Uplands Improvement Project will include stormwater treatment system, marine buildings, and other improvements obligated by final lease terms and permit conditions. Constructing these improvements will meet lease conditions for phased terminal operations over the next 32 years.

"Terminal 5 will be able to handle the largest marine cargo vessels now being deployed in the Asia-Pacific trade route quickly and efficiently, providing a critical link for Washington state exports to Asian markets, both for agricultural products such as hay, apples and potatoes, as well containerized cargo for customers such as Paccar and Starbucks," said Clare Petrich, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of the NWSA.

The Terminal 5 investment will result in 6,600 new direct jobs and more than $2 billion in business activity.

"ILWU Local 19 applauds The Northwest Seaport Alliance for moving forward with the modernization of Terminal 5 in the North Harbor. Container cargo moving through this gateway helps provide tens of thousands of family-wage jobs, benefitting working men and women beyond the docks and throughout the region," said Rich Austin, president of Local 19 longshore union.

Modernizing Terminal 5 allows the NWSA to expand its cargo-handling capabilities and remain competitive in the shipping industry. The terminal must be ready to handle the Ultra Large Container Vessels increasingly calling at West Coast ports: Vessels regularly visiting our gateway have grown in capacity from 4,800 20-ft. equivalent units (TEUs) in 1997 to 14,000 TEUs today.

"The exporter community in Washington state relies on The Northwest Seaport Alliance to get our goods to foreign markets," said Mark Anderson, CEO and president of Anderson Hay & Grain Co. Inc. of Ellensburg, Wash. "Without a robust import trade, our export trade becomes much more difficult. Investments like the Terminal 5 modernization end up supporting well-paying jobs all across the state."

To maximize marine cargo efficiency across the Seattle harbor, international cargo will be realigned as the new Terminal 5 takes shape. Details of the lease package approved include:

  • The Terminal 5 lease allows SSA Terminals (Seattle Terminals) LLC — a joint venture entity owned by SSA Terminals and Terminal Investment Limited Sàrl (TIL, parent company of Total Terminals International) — to begin operating there once phase one construction is complete in 2021.
  • The current lease at Terminal 18 will be amended to introduce conditional consent for the lease to be assigned to the new joint venture (SSA Terminals and TIL) and waive a rail yard fee.
  • The current Terminal 46 lease with TTI will terminate early, allowing international container cargo to be realigned to Terminal 18. This presents the opportunity for Port of Seattle to operate a cruise berth on a portion of the property with breakbulk or project cargo on the remaining, larger section of property.
  • Matson's Hawaii service will relocate to the south berth at Terminal 5 while the north berth is under construction, creating additional room at Terminal 30 for international container cargo.

"The potential for growth through Puget Sound's gateway is tremendous," said Ed DeNike of SSA Terminals. "Investments like this one are both timely and strategic for us."

The deal, including future Phase II commitment, represents approximately a half-billion dollars in private and public investment in the region's economy.

The Berth Modernization Project includes reconstruction of the waterside and landside crane rails; slope stabilization; berth deepening; electrical supply/distribution upgrades; new fender system; and structural rehabilitation of the dock.

For more information, visit nw.sa.com/t5.

About The Northwest Seaport Alliance

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Combined, the ports are the fourth-largest container gateway in North America. Regional marine cargo facilities also are a major center for bulk, breakbulk, project/heavy-lift cargoes, automobiles and trucks.