Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Port of Seattle to Renovate Terminal 5

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle and Eagle Marine Services, which operates Terminal 5 at the port, announced a proposal on May 16 to relocate EMS’ cargo and breakbulk activities to another terminal so that Terminal 5 can be modernized in order to handle larger vessels.

Under the proposal, EMS would shift its operations to Terminal 18, allowing it to preserve container volume and ship calls. Cargo destined to T5 would begin transitioning to T18 in mid-June. The proposal is still tentative, pending final approval by the Port of Seattle Commission, however some commissioners have already indicated they’re in favor of the plan.

“If we’re going to keep jobs in Washington state, we need investments that make us globally competitive,” Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant said. “That’s why we’re rebuilding T5.”
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.

“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,” Eagle Marine Services COO Nathaniel Seeds said in a statement.

In addition to the potential Terminal 5 rebuild, 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.

“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,” Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton said.  “We’re having productive talks on how we can make the Puget Sound gateway more competitive and create new jobs.”