By Mark Edward Nero
The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s extended gates program is getting an extension.
The Alliance announced Nov. 7 that it has lengthened the extended gates program from its original end date of Nov. 11 through Dec. 2 in order to support the peak shipping season’s strong agricultural exports.
“Based on the positive feedback we received from our customers, we are pleased to offer three additional weeks of the extended gate program, which was set to conclude on Nov. 11,” NWSA Chief Operations Officer Dustin Stoker explained in a statement.
The program includes various extended hour options, including flexed gates from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch gate hours Monday through Friday, an off-shift gate after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or Saturday or Sunday shift.
Nearly 10 weeks into the program, the international container terminal operators have added about 50 to 70 hours per week, according to the Seaport Alliance, which is a marine cargo joint operating agreement between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
The Alliance launched the extended gates program in August to help marine terminal operators avoid congestion on surface streets in the port industrial areas and keep import and export cargo flowing efficiently during peak season, which typically starts in late August and continues through early November.