The Northwest Seaport Alliance is off an running.
With a series approvals by commissioners from the ports of Tacoma and Seattle on staffing, leasing and other arrangements, the historic alliance was formalized.
“This is about being relevant in a globally competitive market,” said Port of Tacoma Commissioner Dick Marzano. “We need to make this change for the economic growth of the region and to create family wage jobs.”
The alliance unifies the two ports’ marine cargo terminal investments, operations, planning and marketing to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo to the region.
While the ports remain separate organizations that retain ownership of their respective assets, they formed a port development authority (PDA) to manage the container, breakbulk, auto and some bulk terminals in Seattle and Tacoma.
The airport; cruise business; marinas, such as Fisherman’s Terminal; grain terminals and industrial real estate, such as the Northwest Innovation Works and Puget Sound Energy facilities and Terminal 91 uplands, will remain outside the alliance.
The PDA will be governed jointly by the two ports through their elected commissions.
The commissioners hired John Wolfe, current Port of Tacoma chief executive officer, as the CEO of The Northwest Seaport Alliance.
Wolfe will lead both organizations through a transition period of up to five years.
The alliance launched its marketing and communications just after the final votes at Federal Way City Hall, and just prior to the first formal meeting of the commissions as an alliance, see nwseaportalliance.com.