Northwest Seaport Alliance: A “bold collaboration” between marine cargo divisions of Seattle & Tacoma ports

The agreement reported yesterday looks like good news for the state’s marine trade. 

The port commissions of Seattle and Tacoma voted unanimously Tuesday to form the Northwest Seaport Alliance, unifying the longtime rivals’ marine cargo divisions.

…“We have moved from fierce competitors to bold collaborators,” Port of Tacoma commission president Don Johnson said in a statement. “We recognize how critical the maritime industry is to our state’s economy, and we are proud and excited to strengthen it even more.”

As the story makes clear, it’s not a merger.

While the ports remain separate organizations and retain ownership of their respective assets, they formed a port development authority to manage the container, breakbulk, auto and some bulk terminals in Seattle and Tacoma.

The Washington Research council has written of the importance of continuous and innovative improvements in port operations, citing Portland as a cautionary tale. The partnership between Seattle and Tacoma can only strengthen our state’s trade position.