Port of Tacoma Posts Record Year

Thursday, February 13, 2003
At the close of business on December 31, 2002, the Port of Tacoma had generated operating revenue of $72.9 million, up 19 percent from 2001. The previous record was set in 2000 at $62.3 million. "It's not surprising that in a year of record volumes, we would also set a record for operating revenue," said Andrea Riniker, the Port's Executive Director. "We are proud of our accomplishments, but we are not sitting back on our laurels. Our Port Commission has authorized a $341 million Capital Improvement Plan, designed to continue our momentum and keep the Port of Tacoma growing as a major Pacific gateway well into the future." The Port of Tacoma closed 2002 at 1,470,834 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) -- an 11.4 percent increase from 2001. According to Brendan Dugan, the Port's Senior Director of Marketing and Trade, the 2002 record will soon be exceeded. "We are set to begin first-phase construction of a new container terminal for Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan) that will eventually have 237 acres and a 1.2 million-TEU capacity," he said, noting that Phase 1 of the new terminal is scheduled for completion in late 2004. "This opens Evergreen's current 75-acre terminal, which has an annual capacity of 450,000 TEUs, for a new tenant or expansion of an existing customer." The Port of Tacoma's 2002 container volume was driven by a 19 percent growth in international business, said Dugan, explaining the new China-Pacific Northwest service of Lloyd Triestino (Italy), which started in April 2002, was the largest single factor in this growth. Meanwhile, at the Port's three major intermodal yards, intermodal lifts (transfers of containers between ship and rail) increased markedly in 2002. The Port handled 362,344 intermodal lifts in 2002 -- an increase of 36.6 percent from 2001. Each of the Port's three intermodal yards recorded volume increases in 2002, led by a 69 percent gain at the North Intermodal Yard (NIM). Serving Evergreen, Lloyd Triestino, "K" Line (Japan) and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. (Taiwan), the NIM benefited from Lloyd Triestino's new China service and from "K" Line's partnership with Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd. (Korea), significantly expanding its cargo volume through Tacoma. The Port's investment in rail infrastructure over the past year, including the completion of a $7.8 million NIM upgrade, also contributed to this success, explained Jeannie Beckett, the Port's Senior Director of Inland Transportation. "Following the October lock-out (a 10-day interruption of shipping activity), our rail system and intermodal yards responded with record productivity, quickly alleviating the cargo backlog and allowing the Port to pursue additional business opportunities."
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