Breakwater: BNSF Railway lease, U.S. Coast Guard short-term lease, and Terminal 18 South Olympic Tug & Barge lease top Wednesday’s Meeting


July 1, 2022


BNSF Railway lease, U.S. Coast Guard short-term lease, and Terminal 18 South Olympic Tug & Barge lease top Wednesday’s Meeting

At their Wednesday, July 6 meeting, The Northwest Seaport Alliance Managing Members will take action on a potential lease with the BNSF railway for 16 acres of Lot M in Tacoma. The acreage will be used for BNSF to develop a domestic intermodal facility in Tacoma. The BNSF also operates an intermodal facility in South Seattle and this facility will expand service capacity in the NWSA gateway.

Additionally, Managing Members will vote on the U.S. Coast Guard’s short-term lease for 17 acres on the South end of Terminal 46. The USCG is seeking the 1,100 linear feet of berth space to enable them to remain operational during their Base Seattle Pier 36 basin dredging and environmental clean-up project.

The meeting will include action on Terminal 18 South Olympic Tug & Barge lease, project authorization for the Terminal 46 Storm Vault Reconfiguration Project and the Pacific Rail Services Operating Agreement. Additionally, Commissioners will hear updates from the NWSA working groups and a gateway operations update.

View the full agenda.

The in-person special meeting begins at 11:00 a.m at Port of Tacoma’s Fabulich Center. Meetings are also streamed live from the NWSA’s website.

To deliver comments by phone during the public comment portion of the meeting, please send an email to by 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2022 that includes your name, and the agenda topic you wish to speak to. Please include “speaker” in the subject line. Written comments may be submitted to the same email address.

USDA expands agriculture support to Tacoma Harbor

West Hylebos

On March 18, 2022, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced plans for prepositioning containers of agricultural goods near port terminals to help improve service for shippers of U.S. grown agricultural commodities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its partnership with The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) to enhance access to a 49-acre “pop up” site in Seattle to accept either dry agricultural or refrigerated containers for temporary storage at NWSA.

On June 16, the USDA announced an expansion of the container assistance program to include NWSA’s Tacoma Harbor. The partnership will enhance access to a 16-acre “pop up” site at the West Hylebos near-dock storage to accept either dry agricultural or refrigerated containers for temporary storage at NWSA to reduce operational hurdles and costs. This program enables agriculture producers to more quickly load exports on ships at marine terminals in Tacoma.

Learn more here.

May Cargo volumes down 2%

NWSA volumes continue to be impacted by ongoing Covid-related lockdowns at key origin ports in China. May 2021 was a record month for full imports, making for unfavorable year-over-year comparisons. May volumes decreased 2% to 329,740 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), with full imports declining 10.1% and full exports declining 28.3% year-over-year.

YTD import volumes are tracking ahead of pre-Covid levels and YTD averages, while laden exports continue to struggle from reduced service capacity. Year-to-date volumes declined 2.5% to 1,497,609 TEUs, with full imports and exports declining 5.1% and 27%, respectively.

Read more here.

NWSA recognized as top in supply chain for sustainability actions


For the sixth consecutive year, The Northwest Seaport Alliance has earned the distinction of being an Inbound Logistics’ 75 Green Supply Chain Partner. This recognition highlights NWSA’s commitment to protecting the environment through proactive and collaborative partnerships with supply chain stakeholders and communities across the Puget Sound.

The NWSA gateway has made significant progress in sustainability efforts, working to reduce diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions by more than 90% since 2005.  In 2021, the NWSA launched its first zero-emission cargo handling equipment in the Tacoma Harbor and is adding additional zero-emission cargo handling trucks in 2022.

Read more here.

Congressional Tour of W. Hylebos Storage Yard

W. Hylebos Tour

The Northwest Seaport Alliance hosted Congresswoman Kim Schrier for a tour of the West Hylebos near-dock storage yard. Commissioner Ryan Calkins, Commissioner Dick Marzano, Greg Unterbrink with PCMC and NWSA CEO John Wolfe were also on the tour. The W. Hylebos near-dock storage yard is operated by PCMC and is providing additional capacity in the NWSA gateway.