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A Glimpse into the Future of International Trade: WCIT Members Tour the Port of Seattle

On Thursday, May 11, Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT) members participated in an enlightening tour of the Port of Seattle. The tour, hosted by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) and SSA Marine, offered a deep dive into Seattle Harbor’s cargo operations and their crucial role in international trade.

Exploring the Freight Transportation System

The tour provided a comprehensive overview of the freight transportation system in Seattle. Participants had the opportunity to learn about marine terminal operations, intermodal rail, drayage trucking, and the supporting industries that keep the wheels of trade turning. A tour highlight was a visit to Terminal 18 on Harbor Island, a bustling hub of activity and a key player in the region’s trade infrastructure.

Inaugural Shore Power Plug-In at Terminal 5

Recently, NWSA announced the Inaugural Shore Power Plug-In at Terminal 5. This terminal is the first international container terminal in the NWSA gateway to have a shore-power plug-in. This innovative feature allows vessels to switch off their diesel engines and instead draw clean energy from the City of Seattle’s electrical grid while at berth. The result is a significant reduction in diesel particulate matter and greenhouse emissions.

When announcing the enhancement, NWSA Co-Chair Deanna Keller highlighted the importance of this development, stating, “Terminal 5 is an important asset to our region’s economy, adding critical capacity to the west coast that increases cargo movement through our gateway, and now, reduces the environmental impact of port operations on our workers and surrounding near-port neighborhoods.”

The introduction of shore power at Terminal 5 aligns with the broader goals of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. This ambitious initiative aims to provide shore power infrastructure on all international container terminals by 2030, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable future for international trade.

The Value of the Port of Seattle and WCIT Tours

WCIT President Lori Otto Punke reflected on the value of the Port of Seattle and the importance of tours like this one. “The Port of Seattle is a vital engine for international trade and job creation in the Northwest,” she said. “Tours like this offer our members a unique opportunity to see firsthand the complex operations and innovative practices that keep our region at the forefront of global trade.”

“The Port of Seattle is a vital engine for international trade and job creation in the Northwest,”

International trade fuels jobs, and the Washington state economy and the Port of Seattle is a critical component. It is exciting to see the innovative steps being taken to increase efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and ensure the Northwest remains a crucial player in the global economy.

WCIT advocates for trade and investment policies that increase the competitiveness of Washington state workers, farmers, and businesses. Our diverse membership includes small and medium-sized companies, Fortune 500 businesses, and agriculture producers, representing industries ranging from manufacturing, food, and retail to technology and science. If you want to join our efforts, learn about WCIT membership here.

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