Port of Seattle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed September 5, 1911 (1911-09-05)
Jurisdiction Greater Seattle Area
Headquarters 2711 Alaskan Way
Seattle, Washington
Employees 1,800 (January 2017)
Annual budget $650 million USD (2017)
Agency executive
  • Dave Soike, Interim CEO
Child agencies
Website portseattle.org
A ship at Pier 86 Grain Terminal
Grain Terminal Sign
A container ship and the Bainbridge Island ferry near Terminal 46
Plaque for salmon net pens, joint project between Port of Seattle and Muckleshoot and Suquamish Indian tribes
View of restaurant cafe and adjacent marina along Alaskan Way, Seattle waterfront
Ship Angela from Panama taking on grain at Pier 86 Grain Terminal

The Port of Seattle is a government agency that runs Seattle's seaport and airport. The Port has its own police department, fire department, and a portfolio of industrial and commercial real estate including the World Trade Center Seattle. Its creation was approved by the voters of King County, Washington, on September 5, 1911, and authorized by the Port District Act. It is run by an elected five-member commission whose terms run four years.[1] Generating over 200,000 jobs and $20 billion in business revenue, the Port of Seattle is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading economic engines.[2]

As of 2017, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is the fastest growing airport in the United States,[3] and the sixth fastest growing airport in the world.[4] Handling a record 45.7 million passengers in 2016, the airport is now the ninth busiest airport in the United States.[5]

Together with the Port of Tacoma, the Northwest Seaport Alliance is the fourth-largest container gateway in North America.[6] Under a port development authority, the ports manage the container, breakbulk, auto and some bulk terminals in Seattle and Tacoma. In 2015, over 898,000 cruise passengers passed through the Port's cruise ship terminals.[7]


The Port of Seattle celebrated its centennial in 2011. To mark the anniversary, the organization created a historical filled with photos and information about the port's and the region's history.

From the first Commission Report for 1912: The Port of Seattle came into existence on September 5, 1911, by a vote of the people of the Port District held on that date in accordance with the Port District Act of March 14, 1911. The work of the commission for the first six months was confined almost entirely to the preparation of projects which were duly approved by the people at a special election held on March 5, 1912. A Porsche 959 was stored for 13 years by the Customs Service at the Port of Seattle, until regulations were changed to allow Autos of Interest to be imported with severe limitations on their use.[8] Gates and Allen both helped pass the "Show and Display" law.[8][9]

In 1949 the U.S. Department of Commerce designated a foreign-trade zone in the port.[10]

On October 7, 2014, the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma announced an agreement to "jointly market and operate the marine terminals of both ports as a single entity," though they were not merging.[11] Joint operations began with the formation of the Northwest Seaport Alliance on August 4, 2015, creating the third-largest cargo gateway in the United States;[12][13] by the end of the year, it reported more than 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units handled by the two ports, an increase of 4 percent.[14]

Current issues[edit]

Recent years have brought significant changes to the Port of Seattle. In 2007, Tay Yoshitani joined the organization as CEO.[15] Just after his tenure began, two significant scandals occurred. The port police department uncovered a significant problem with racist and pornographic emails.[16] After the hiring of a new chief,[17] the organization began to regain its footing, only to be thrust in the spotlight again by former CEO Mic Dinsmore, who claimed a sizable severance had been authorized by the commission. The organization refused to pay and the claim was dropped, though the situation led to an attempted recall of one commissioner.[18]

Finally, in December of that year, the State Auditor's Office issued a critical report on the port's contracting practices (particularly those related to construction of the third runway).[19] The audit report sparked an investigation by the Department of Justice, which was later closed without action.[20]

Newly elected commissioners and CEO Yoshitani implemented a series of reforms, including increased commission oversight of port construction projects and consolidation of the organization's procurement activities into one division to afford better control.

Yoshitani also brought a heightened commitment to environmental practices.[citation needed] The port has many environmental programs, including shore power for cruise ships and a plan to clean up the Lower Duwamish Waterway (in partnership with Boeing, King County, and the City of Seattle).[21]

But increased container and cruise traffic have increased community concerns, just as the new runway did.[citation needed]

In 2012, port commissioners began outreach on the Century Agenda,[22] a strategic plan for the port's next 25 years.[23]

In 2012, the Port became one of the most vocal opponents of the proposal to build a new arena in the Stadium District.[24][25] However the Port has not been able to provide tangible proof or studies to refute what it says will cause issues for its operations, even though the City of Seattle has studied the Ports concerns at length and found them to be lacking in factual data or extensive studies.[26]

In 2015, an agreement to berth Royal Dutch Shell semi-submersible offshore drilling rigs at the Port's Terminal 5 led to protests against Arctic drilling.[27]

View of the port from the Space Needle

Port management[edit]

Current Port Commissioners[edit]

Position Commissioner[28] Office Took office Last election Notes
Position 1 John Creighton Commissioner-at-Large January 1, 2006 November 4, 2013[29]
Position 2 Courtney Gregoire Vice President March 15, 2013[30] November 3, 2015[31] Appointed to unexpired term
Position 3 Stephanie Bowman Secretary December 30, 2013 November 5, 2013[29]
Position 4 Tom Albro Commission President January 1, 2014 November 5, 2013[29]
Position 5 Fred Felleman Assistant Secretary January 1, 2016 November 3, 2015[31]

Former Port Commissioners[edit]

This list comes from a book published in 1976 and current (2015 and beyond) events. Research ongoing for the rest of the names and terms.

  • Hiram M. Chittenden – 1912–15
  • C. E. Remsberg – 1912–19
  • Robert Bridges – 1912–19
  • Dr. Carl A. Ewald – 1915–19
  • T. S. Lippy – 1918–21
  • W. D. Lincoln – 1919–32
  • Dr. W. T. Christensen – 1919–22
  • George B. Lamping – 1921–33
  • George F. Cotterill – 1922–34
  • Smith M. Wilson – 1932–42
  • Horace P. Chapman – 1933–47
  • J. A. Earley – 1934–51
  • E. H. Savage – 1942–58
  • A. B. Terry – 1947–48
  • Gordon Rowe – 1949–54
  • C. H. Carlander – 1951–62
  • M. J. Weber – 1954–60
  • Capt. Tom McManus – 1958–64
  • John M. Haydon – 1960–69
  • Gordon Newell – 1960–63
  • Frank R. Kitchell – 1961–73
  • Miner H. Baker – 1963–69
  • Robert W. Norquist – 1963–69
  • Merle D. Adlum – 1964–?
  • J. Knox Woodruff – 1969–73
  • Fenton Radford – 1969–70
  • Paul S. Friedlander – 1970–?
  • Henry L. Kotkins – 1970–?
  • Jack S. Block – 1974–?
  • Henry T. Simonson – 1974–?
  • Gael Tarleton – 2008–2013[32][33]
  • Bill Bryant – 2008–2015[34]
  • Rob Holland – 2010–2013[35][36]

General Managers and CEOs[edit]

  • J.R. West – 1933–1935
  • Col. W.C. Bickford – 1935–1945
  • Col. Warren D. Lamport – 1946–1951
  • George T. Treadwell – 1951–1953
  • Howard M. Burke – 1953–1964
  • J. Eldon Opheim – 1964–1977
  • Richard D. Ford – 1977–1985
  • James D. Dwyer – 1985–1988
  • Zeger van Asch van Wijck – 1989–1992
  • Mic R. Dinsmore – 1992–2007
  • Tay Yoshitani – 2007–2014
  • Ted J. Fick – 2014–2017
  • Dave Soike (interim) – 2017–present

Seattle tugboats[edit]

Sister ports[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Commission Home". portseattle.org. 
  2. ^ "The Port of Seattle's Economic Impact" (PDF). Port of Seattle. 
  3. ^ Bush, Evan (10 November 2016). "Sea-Tac on pace to be among nation's top 10 busiest airports". The Seattle Times. 
  4. ^ Smith, Oliver. "The world's 10 fastest growing airports". The Telegraph. 
  5. ^ Gates, Dominic (26 January 2017). "Sea-Tac airport's booming passenger volume makes it 9th busiest in U.S." The Seattle Times. 
  6. ^ "The Northwest Seaport Alliance". The Northwest Seaport Alliance. 
  7. ^ "Cruise Seattle 2016 Factsheet" (PDF). Port of Seattle. March 30, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Stephan Wilkinson. The Gold-Plated Porsche. The Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut (2005) pages 21–2, ISBN 1-59228-792-1. 
  9. ^ "How To Import A Motor Vehicle For Show Or Display". National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. July 7, 2003. 
  10. ^ U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board Order Summary, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, retrieved September 16, 2016 
  11. ^ "Ports of Tacoma, Seattle announce alliance". The News-Tribune. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  12. ^ Garnick, Coral (August 4, 2015). "Seattle, Tacoma ports OK 'bold' alliance in marine cargo business". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 29, 2016. 
  13. ^ Wilhelm, Steve (August 4, 2015). "The Northwest Seaport Alliance just became the third-largest cargo gateway in the U.S." Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved February 29, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Northwest Seaport Alliance tops 3.5 million containers in 2015" (Press release). Northwest Seaport Alliance. January 21, 2016. Retrieved February 29, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Tay Yoshitani". Port of Seattle. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Port's investigation of its police officers' e-porn called flawed". The Seattle Times. 
  17. ^ "Colleen Wilson". Port of Seattle. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Report cites Port mistakes". The Seattle Times. 
  19. ^ "State audit blasts Port of Seattle". The Seattle Times. 
  20. ^ "Investigation of Port of Seattle fraud ends without indictments". The Seattle Times. 
  21. ^ "Environmental". portseattle.org. 
  22. ^ "Century Agenda". portseattle.org. 
  23. ^ "Port of Seattle prepares for stormy sailing in 25-year plan". The Seattle Times. 
  24. ^ "Stadium District Study - What & Why - Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development". www.seattle.gov. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  25. ^ "Proposed arena a job killer, say Port of Seattle leaders". The Seattle Times. 
  26. ^ "Seattle Arena Final Environmental Impact Statement Available". buildingconnections.seattle.gov. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  27. ^ Beekman, Daniel; Garnick, Coral (May 14, 2015), "More protests planned after giant oil rig muscles in", Seattle Times 
  28. ^ "Port of Seattle Commission". Port of Seattle. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b c "Election Results: General and Special Election, November 5, 2013". King County Elections. November 26, 2013. p. 7. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  30. ^ Heffter, Emily (March 6, 2013). "Gregoire's daughter named to Port commission". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  31. ^ a b "Election Results: General and Special Election, November 3, 2015". King County Elections. November 24, 2015. p. 8. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Gael Tarleton". Port of Seattle. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Notice of Resignation" (PDF). Port of Seattle. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Bill Bryant". Port of Seattle. Archived from the original on December 7, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Rob Holland". Port of Seattle. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  36. ^ Heffter, Emily (February 13, 2013). "Holland resigns from Port position after story on his problems". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Port of Seattle at Wikimedia Commons



Coordinates: 47°36′50″N 122°21′15″W / 47.61388889°N 122.35416667°W / 47.61388889; -122.35416667