A marine cargo operating partnership
The Northwest Seaport Alliance is the first of this kind in North America.
The ports of Seattle and Tacoma joined forces in August 2015 to unify management of our marine cargo facilities and business to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo and jobs for the region.
Located in the Pacific Northwest in Washington state, The Northwest Seaport Alliance offers shorter U.S.-to-Asia transits, as well as a deep connection to Alaska.
The alliance is a port development authority governed by the two ports as equal members, with each port acting through its elected commissioners. Meet our commissions.
The chief executive officer, in carrying out the policies, leads employees and oversees alliance programs. Meet our leadership team.
The boundaries of the alliance include King and Pierce counties.
We are the fourth-largest container gateway for containerized cargo shipping between Asia and major distribution points in the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the East Coast.
We are also a major center for bulk, breakbulk, project/heavy-lift cargoes, automobiles and trucks. We connect to the second-largest concentration of distribution centers on the West Coast.
Top international trading partners include:
- China/Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
The value of this two-way international trade totaled more than $73 billion in 2014. Imports were $55 billion and exports were $18 billion of that total. See more cargo stats.
The Puget Sound is also a major gateway to Alaska. More than 80 percent of the total trade volume between Alaska and the lower 48 states moves through our North and South harbors. Trade with Alaska was estimated at $5.4 billion in 2015. If it were ranked with our international trading partners, Alaska would be fourth.
We also provide connections to Hawaii.
We know that our competitive difference and the value we create does not end with our customers.
We recognize our responsibility to the region, and we proactively create programs that enhance our community by creating jobs, reducing our environmental footprint and boosting our state’s economy.
“Our organization has never been more excited about the future for the ports and the alliance that’s in place, simply because they already do a great job, they already have capacity, and there’s only growth opportunity as long as folks like me, and our peers in the marketplace, are out there articulating the differentiators.”
“If we didn’t have strong ports in our back yard, our costs would be a lot higher. Moving product to Asia, for example—we wouldn’t necessarily be as competitive. It’s critical to have them here, close by.”
"Ensuring the continued competitiveness of the seaports of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma is a top priority as we look for ways to enhance job creation and spur economic growth here in Washington State, and I'm pleased that today's announcement will make an important contribution to this effort."
"I applaud the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma for working together on a strong partnership for economic development. Washington State’s ports are hubs for jobs and economic growth. This decision is important for keeping the Puget Sound as a competitive environment for jobs and economic development."
"I applaud the announcement that the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma will work even closer together in the Seaport Alliance. With increasing global competition, it just makes sense for both major container ports in Puget Sound to work together. Port competitiveness is an issue I have been working on since the 1970s and I look forward to this mutually-beneficial partnership. When we work together, there are public benefits. The next step is to reform the Harbor Maintenance Tax to provide the tools to be competitive with our neighbors to the north."
How do I...?
- Interlocal agreement
- Port Development Authority charter
- CEO Contract
- Managing Member bylaws
- License agreement: Tacoma and NWSA
- License Agreement: Seattle and NWSA
- Interlocal agreement–Secondment: Seattle and NWSA
- Interlocal agreement–Secondment: Tacoma and NWSA
- Resolution 2015-01: Adopting Master Policy Delegation of Authority
- Resolution 2015-02: Appointing Public Records Officer
- Resolution 2015-03: Appointing Alliance Treasurer & Deputy Treasurer
- Resolution 2015-04: Appointing Claims Officer
- FMC Letter & Discussion Agreement
- FMC filing letter