By Mark Edward Nero
On April 4, Matson Inc. announced that its US Pacific carrier subsidiary Matson Navigation Co. will use SSA Terminals (SSAT) for stevedoring and terminal services at the Port of Tacoma when its existing agreement with APM Terminals expires on December 31.
“APMT has served us well. It just makes more sense to work with our strategic partner at Tacoma as we do at all of our other terminals on the West Coast,” Ron Forest, senior vice president of operations for Matson explained in a statement.
Tacoma is the only Matson terminal on the US West Coast not currently handled by SSAT.
The terminal, with 12 employees, became part of the Maersk Group portfolio in 2000 with Maersk Line’s acquisition of US-based Sea-Land Service. The facility, with an annual throughput capacity of 600,000 TEU, was used primarily by the Matson Alaska Service, with twice-weekly sailings between Tacoma, Anchorage and Kodiak, and a weekly service between Tacoma and Dutch Harbor, handling about 190,000 TEUs in 2016.
“We expect a seamless transition and no change in our Tacoma operations from a customer standpoint,” Forest said.
In a statement, APM Terminals said it is “evaluating all options” regarding the terminal lease with Matson that expires at the end of the year.