First seaport alliance: Seattle and Tacoma
As container lines are in the process of entering into new forms of cooperation, the US west coast ports of Seattle and Tacoma have revealed they will form a seaport alliance to jointly manage marine cargo terminal investments and operations, planning and marketing – setting the stage for yet another wave of developments in the maritime industry.
This unprecedented level of cooperation between the state of Washington's two largest container ports is a strategic response to the competitive pressures that are reshaping the global shipping industry, the hubs said in a joint press statement. Especially Canadian ports have recently improved their facilities and are able to attract an increasing volume of cargo.
While the individual port commissions will retain their existing governance structures and ownership of assets, the goal is to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo for the region.
The seaport alliance is the outcome of talks held under the sanction and guidance of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Following the due diligence period, the two port commissions intend to submit a more detailed agreement for the seaport alliance to the FMC by the end of March 2015.