SSA Marine’s Terminal 18 surpassed 1 million TEUs in yearly container volume last week, marking the first time in Washington state history that a single marine terminal handled a million TEUs in a year.
Located in the North Harbor of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the terminal is on track to top 1.1 million TEUs by the end of 2018.
This year, terminal operator SSA Marine improved productivity in collaboration with ILWU Local 19 to begin continuous vessel operations, a manning agreement that staggers break schedules to handle more cargo per day. In April, it became the first terminal in Puget Sound to move 5,500 containers on and off a single vessel, averaging 30 crane moves per hour.
Also this year, Terminal 18 invested in rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) to increase both reliability and productivity in handling containers. These investments and operational efficiencies played a role in attracting two new services this year (the AL5 and PNS) and an additional ocean carrier (SM Lines).
Ultimately, the investments positioned the terminal to handle the record-setting cargo volume experienced during this year’s unusually busy peak season, according to NWSA.
“To reach 1 million TEUs at a Puget Sound terminal for the first time is an enormous achievement and a testament to the value of working together under the banner of The Northwest Seaport Alliance,” Don Meyer, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of the NWSA, said.
SSA Marine, a subsidiary of Carrix, is the largest US-owned container terminal operator, handling approximately 22 million container TEUs per year at its marine and rail terminal operations.
NWSA 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.