Tacoma could regain its crown as Puget Sound’s largest container port thanks to a Thursday decision by a group of three container shipping lines to forsake the Port of Seattle in favor of the Port of Tacoma’s Washington United Terminal.
The move of the Grand Alliance shipping lines, NYK Lines, OOCL and Hapag-Lloyd, to Tacoma’s Washington United Terminal on the Blair Waterway could boost Tacoma’s critical container business by 25 percent to 30 percent.
“This is probably the biggest announcement that will be made in the rest of my working life at the port,” said Longshore Union Local 23 President Scott Mason, who was in New Zealand Thursday supporting a longshore labor dispute there. “The effect will be huge for those working on the waterfront.”
The alliance partners told the Port of Tacoma of its decision in a conference call at 10 a.m. Thursday, said Tacoma Port Commissioner Clare Petrich, but the port delayed making an official announcement until almost 4 p.m. because the alliance hadn’t issued its own news release.
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