On Dec. 31, Timothy J. Farrell, Executive Director of the Port of Tacoma, issued the following statement updating stakeholders on progress being made at the port:
Five years ago, I promised that the Port of Tacoma would take care of our customers, build a foundation for future growth, and be a good neighbor. Since then, I have had the privilege of working alongside an extraordinarily talented team, including Port employees, the Tacoma labor force, and our customers, business partners, vendors, and community members. The last five years have been intensely challenging, with record growth and record contraction of international trade. Through it all, I'm proud of the achievements that we have made on that initial promise.
Take Care of Our Customers. Over the last five years, we have expanded all of our container terminals, intermodal rail system, automobile facilities and our real estate portfolio. We've added three container lines, two automotive accounts, new breakbulk customers and services, and new intermodal services. We've added technology to streamline customer operations and back-office administration.
Build a Foundation for Future Growth. Five years ago, no one could have imagined the depths of today's global recession. Despite today's challenges, we must be ready for the recovery, wherever it begins. Over the last five years, the Port has added and expanded major waterway, road and rail infrastructure to enhance efficiency in the short term and capacity over the longer term. We also purchased 450 acres of industrial property in the Port area. These expansions serve all of the Port's customers—containers, automobiles, breakbulk, bulk, real estate, and railroads.
Be a Good Neighbor. I am most proud of our achievements in this area. The citizens of Pierce County are very supportive of the Port of Tacoma, and the transportation industry has returned that support by making this region a great place to work and a great place to live. The collective efforts of the Port, our customers, and our partners have led to cleaner air, cleaner soil, cleaner water, and new habitat for salmon and other wildlife. Here is a small selection of our achievements:
• We created a clean air partnership with the Ports of Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.—along with regulatory agencies and our customer base—that has begun to show that business and the environment can thrive together, without new fees.
• We completed clean-up all of the areas initially designated under the Superfund program, investing nearly $200 million in the process.
• In partnership with the City of Tacoma, we removed large portions of the former municipal landfill, improving water quality.
• We constructed new shallow-water habitat to protect juvenile salmon as they migrate to the sea.
• We set aside large green spaces in perpetuity as natural habitat and buffers between industry and residents.
In the near future, I will be spending more time with my family and charting my future business. Please keep in touch; my new contact information is listed at the end of this message.
I am grateful for the privilege of serving the Port of Tacoma, its customers, and this community. Thank you.
Timothy J. Farrell
Port of Tacoma USA