Seattle and Tacoma port officials recently joined ILWU Local 19 president and the head of local terminal operator SSA Terminals in breaking ground on Terminal 5, a modernization project that will allow the facility to handle larger cargo ships carrying up to 18,000 TEUs.
Ships carrying 14,000 TEUs already visit the North and South harbors regularly.
Activity at Terminal 5 means an estimated 6,600 new direct jobs and over $2 billion in business activity. Port officials approved $340 million in construction funds, while SSA Terminals invested up to $160 million toward the project.
“Four years ago this August, our two ports announced the joining of our operations in order to better compete on a global scale,” said Clare Petrich, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. “Today is proof that we made the right decision as our efforts here at Terminal 5 provide us new opportunities for cooperation and the creation of family-wage jobs.”
Set to open in two phases, the 185-acre terminal is expected to receive international container cargo at one berth in the spring of 2021 while the other will open in 2023.