The Port of Tacoma celebrated its third major container terminal grand opening of 2005. For officials of Taiwan-based Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation (YMMTY)
, the Port and more than 200 guests, the event was highlighted by a traditional Lion Dance, meant to bestow good fortune at the new Olympic Container Terminal
The newly renovated, 54-acre (21.6-hectare) Olympic Container Terminal (OCT) is located on the Port's deep-water Sitcum Waterway, adjacent to the on-dock North Intermodal Yard and just a few miles from Interstate 5 and other major highways.
"As the gateway to the Pacific Northwest, the Port of Tacoma is ideal for Yang Ming Line," said Spring C.C. Wu, President of Yang Ming (America) Corporation. "Olympic Container Terminal has direct access to an on-dock intermodal network, high terminal productivity and its berthing specifications are well suited for our vessels. This terminal will help us meet increased service demands between Asia and the U.S. West Coast while providing our customers the convenience of a major distribution center and gateway port. Yang Ming is confident that our relationship with the Port of Tacoma will prove beneficial to long-term commitments."
"As a major gateway port, we know the importance of keeping cargo on the move for our customers," said Port of Tacoma Commission President R. Ted Bottiger. "This terminal, together with the capabilities of the North Intermodal Yard and Tacoma's productive longshore workforce, will do just that – keep Yang Ming Line's cargo moving."
OCT is the third major container terminal opened in Tacoma this year. In January, Pierce County Terminal opened for Evergreen Marine, Hatsu Marine and Lloyd Triestino. And in July, Husky Terminal opened for "K" Line.
"Like our other grand openings this year, today's celebration is a tremendous example of how the Port of Tacoma is working to meet the growth needs of its customers and quite literally, build a foundation for their growth here in Tacoma," Bottiger said.
Yang Ming Line and the Port signed a long-term lease agreement in December 2004. The lease called for the Port to refurbish Terminal 7-C/D in preparation for Yang Ming's first ship call in summer 2005.
The Port started the $18.7 million renovation work on Terminal 7-C/D in January 2005. The project will be completed in November 2005. Yang Ming has an option to expand the facility to 76 acres (30.76 hectares) in the future.
A recent economic impact study documented that – based on 2004 cargo volumes – more than 43,000 family-wage jobs in Pierce County are related to Port of Tacoma activities. Statewide, 113,160 jobs are related to Port of Tacoma activities. Yang Ming Line's new Olympic Container Terminal, along with other recent Port growth, expands the Port's regional economic role.
Port of Tacoma Commissioner Dick Marzano noted that Port of Tacoma customers
include some of the largest and best-respected in the maritime industry. "Yang Ming is also a top-quality company," he said, "and it has much in common with the Port of Tacoma. We both put a great value on innovation and teamwork, and I think this terminal is an example of both."