Friday, January 25, 2019

Everett Approved for Short Sea Shipping

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Secretary of Transportation has designated the Port of Everett as a Federal Maritime Administration Marine Highway Project for the Puget Sound Container on Barge Service under the America’s Marine Highway Program.

The designation – one of 25 US marine highway projects and the only marine project designation on the West Coast – makes the port eligible for future grant funding from the Marine Highway Grant Program.

“This service highlights the importance of expanding waterborne options that can relieve congestion on local roads and rail networks while introducing additional resiliency that is vital to our Nation’s transportation system,” said Catherine Simons, legislative affairs specialist in the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. “With anticipated regional growth specifically, and in our nation broadly, there is expected to be significant growth in freight volumes, requiring transportation alternatives for shippers. Our nation’s vast network of inland waterways and coastal routes has substantial excess capacity that can absorb growth.”

Offered from its shipping terminals in Everett to the Mount Baker Terminal, the port’s Container on Barge service is currently limited to the aerospace industry. But with the new designation, the service will be open to non-aerospace containerized freight shipping via the marine highway from Everett to the Seattle and Tacoma ports, a move that will eliminate up to 300 containers per month from the congested I-5 corridor.

“This designation provides the foundation for the Port of Everett and our partner ports in Seattle and Tacoma to develop and market the Container on Barge service,” said Carl Wollebek, chief operating officer for the Port of Everett Seaport. “We have identified strong market opportunities to expand short-sea shipping service for the Port of Everett to Seattle and Tacoma for a variety of cargoes.”