On Tuesday at Auburn City Hall, the commissions of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma voted unanimously to form the Seaport Alliance and join their marine cargo facilities.
A detailed agreement is expected to be worked out by March 31, 2015, and then submitted to the Federal Maritime Commission for final approval.
If approved, the new alliance will unite marine cargo facilities of the two ports and create the third largest container gateway in North America.
The Seaport Alliance will manage marine cargo terminal investments and operations, planning and marketing, while the individual port commissions will retain their existing governance structures and ownership of assets.
A recent report released by the two ports estimates that the ports combined are affiliated with $138.1 billion in economic activity in the state—one third of Washington’s GDP.
As the two ports seek to make their operations more competitive, they are calling on state lawmakers to pass a statewide transportation package to complete projects that improve freight movement on roadways, including fixes to SR 167 and SR 509.