The game of musical chairs in the Pacific Northwest will continue this summer when Grand Alliance carriers NYK Line, Hapag-Lloyd and Orient Overseas Container Line leave the Port of Seattle and move to Tacoma.
NYK Line had announced in 2009 that it intended to move to Tacoma in 2012 when its lease in Seattle was set to expire. On Thursday, the other two Grand Alliance lines announced they will join NYK in the move to the Washington United Terminals in Tacoma.
Tacoma’s container volumes were down the past two years because Maersk Line left the port in 2010 and moved to Seattle. Since then, Seattle’s volumes have been rising. Beginning this summer, Tacoma should experience growing container volumes.
NYK several years ago intended to move to a proposed 168-acre terminal that Tacoma planned to build as a proprietary facility for the Japanese carrier. When trans-Pacific container volumes declined more than 15 percent during the 2009 economic recession, however, the port decided not to build the terminal.
NYK then shifted gears and said it would still leave Seattle in 2012, but it would lease space at the APM terminal in Tacoma However, the Port of Tacoma announced on Thursday that the entire Grand Alliance, including NYK, will call at Washington United Terminals.
The move is expected to occur in July.
Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at email@example.com.