SSA Marine and The Northwest Seaport Alliance welcome first vessel call to the newly modernized Terminal 5 in Seattle

NWSA & SSA Marine

SEATTLE— Phase one of Terminal 5 is open for cargo ships to call the NWSA gateway. The MSC Monterey is the first vessel to call the newly modernized terminal with four new Super-post Panamax cranes ready to work the ship.  The Terminal 5 Modernization Program launched in 2016 to expand gateway cargo capacity and enable The Northwest Seaport Alliance to service the largest vessels in the Transpacific trade.


MSC Monterey at berth at Terminal 5


“The opening of Terminal 5 will add an additional berth to our gateway at a time when the supply chain is under increased pressure. We are the only gateway bringing additional berth capacity to our harbors on the West Coast at this critical time. By adding additional deep-water terminal space, we can serve the largest vessels in the industry and increase cargo volumes that benefit our local, state, and regional economy for years to come,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President and NWSA Co-Chair Don Meyer.

“The modernization of Terminal 5 was a strategic decision made by Managing Members at the establishment of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. The opening of phase one of Terminal 5 is a significant milestone for our gateway. This investment will increase our ports’ competitiveness, support additional maritime jobs, and reduce our environmental impact by enabling ships to use shore power rather than running their generators while at berth,” stated Port of Seattle Commission President and NWSA Co-Chair, Ryan Calkins.

“We are proud to have invested along-side and work with the Northwest Seaport Alliance to bring on this much needed additional T5 terminal capacity. Larger ships and increased volumes are coming and we want to be ahead of the curve in meeting our customer’s needs” stated Ed DeNike, President of SSA Terminals.

The opening of Terminal 5 adds another berth to the Seattle harbor and supports more jobs, local businesses, and economic growth across our region. The men and women of the ILWU continue to be ready to move more cargo through The Northwest Seaport Alliance gateway”, stated Rich Austin President of ILWU Local 19.

Construction on the new facility launched in July 2019, fueled by the combined investment from the NWSA Managing Members and SSA Marine of approximately half a billion dollars. The strategic investment of modernizing Terminal 5 will increase cargo capacity and job opportunities in the Puget Sound region. The terminal renovations include two reconfigured berths to support larger cranes, on-dock rail, 1,500 refrigerated plug ins, and shore power capability.

Terminal 5 is equipped to support both efficiency of operations and the surrounding environment. On-dock rail will play a significant role in helping to reduce truck traffic around the Terminal with discretionary cargo headed for the mid-west being loaded directly onto railcars instead of loading on trucks to move off-terminal. The terminal’s shore power capability will reduce vessel emissions while at berth. Vessels will be able to plug into the electrical grid and utilize cleaner energy than burning fuel. This will reduce negative impacts to surrounding near-port communities and help the NWSA reach its emission reduction targets.

SSA Terminals purchased four Super-post Panamax cranes which were delivered to Terminal 5 and commissioned for use in 2021. Each crane stands 316 feet tall with a 240-foot outreach boom and can lift 65 tons providing increased capacity and job opportunities for our region. Labor began working the first vessel on January 7th.

Phase Two of the Modernization program is underway with operations in the south berth expected to be complete in mid-2023. At full completion, Terminal 5 will boast 185-acres of additional capacity. Beyond import cargo, the opening of Terminal 5 will also help increase opportunities for agriculture exporters from the mid-west and eastern Washington to move their goods to overseas markets.



About The Northwest Seaport Alliance:

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which includes the marine cargo operations of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, is the fourth-largest container gateway in the United States. The NWSA also manages breakbulk, auto and bulk terminals and handled over 3 million TEUs (containers) and over 36 million tons of other cargo in 2020.


About SSA Marine:

SSA Marine, is the world’s largest independent, privately-held marine terminal operator, with activities at more than 250 terminal facilities and rail operations throughout geographies in the U.S., Canada, Latin and South America, Asia, New Zealand and South Africa. Since its founding in 1949, SSA Marine has continued to grow, always with its customer’s interests in focus.


Photo Credit: Tim Durkan, Russ Read, The Northwest Seaport Alliance


Terminal 5  |  MSC Monterey