Terminal operators benefit from NWSA peak season extended gates program

Terminal operators have added about 50 hours per week this peak season through The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s extended gates program.

The NWSA launched a 12-week program to reimburse terminal operators up to $2 million to extend gate hours at international container terminals during peak season.

Halfway through the program, about 8 percent of total container cargo volumes have come through the terminal gates’ extended hours.

The alliance launched the program to help marine terminal operators avoid congestion on surface streets in the port industrial areas and keep import and export cargo flowing efficiently during peak season, which typically starts in late August and continues through early November.

“We are pleased that the marine terminal operators have been willing to participate in this pilot program,” said Dustin Stoker, NWSA chief operations officer. “The goods we import and the agricultural and manufactured products we send elsewhere create valuable jobs for our communities. We want to continue to make it easy for our customers to do business here to benefit everyone.”

Each terminal has participated in the program, offering various extended hour options, including flexed gates from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch gate hours Monday through Friday, an off-shift gate after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or Saturday or Sunday shift.

“The NWSA peak season assistance program has been extremely beneficial for Yusen Logistics and our customer,” said Ruth Christian, director of warehouse operations and general manager for Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc. “The additional flexibility has allowed us to stabilize staffing requirements, increase production goals and receive maximum performance from dray providers compared to previous peak seasons.”

The program kicked off the week of Aug. 22 and will last up to 12 weeks.

Find more tips to avoid delays, increase turn times and reduce costs during peak shipping season.

Truckers should confirm each terminal's schedule on its website: