John Wolfe, CEO, Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA)
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John Wolfe, CEO, Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA)

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) recognizes its crucial role in global trade and its impact on our local, regional and national economy. Over the past year, ports have felt the softening of the market, which has brought distinct challenges. The NWSA’s differentiated lines of business have helped us balance the marketplace variability, with strong breakbulk volumes and auto volumes increasing more than 100%.

Through partnership with key maritime stakeholders, NWSA is actively focusing on our gateway’s core strengths. We were honored to be recognized as a top port for ease of doing business. Yet, we are making strides to improve service, enhance cargo efficiency and elevate our performance to continue to provide best-in-class service for cargo customers.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our global supply chain. In response to these challenges, infrastructure investments are being made both locally and at strategic inland locations, such as the opening of Terminal 5 Phase Two in Seattle and the expansion of Husky Terminal in Tacoma. Additionally, we’re increasing inland terminal partnerships that function as an extension of our marine terminals to better serve import and export customers.

The shipping and logistics industry is taking bold steps toward more sustainable business practices, while still facing an uncertain pathway to the decarbonization of the supply chain. Working beside our supply chain partners, the NWSA is making progress toward our voluntary goal of zero maritime emissions by 2050 or earlier by adding zero-emission cargo handling equipment, installing shore power infrastructure and collaborating with industry and government to deploy zero-emission drayage trucks across our harbors.  

Looking ahead to 2024, global economic uncertainty persists with supply-demand imbalances, higher than normal inflation and global geopolitical challenges. We expect progress on data-sharing initiatives and a continued focus by cargo owners on supply chain strategies that enhance resilience and risk mitigation.