Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 28

Northwest Seaport Alliance Turns Heads The Northwest Seaport Alliance was formed by the ports of Seattle and Tacoma as a marine cargo operating partnership. Together, under a port development authority with the two ports as equal members, the ports manage their container, breakbulk, auto and select bulk terminals. The unification of the two ports' marine cargo terminal investments, operations, planning and marketing was planned to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo, helping to better serve shippers and receivers throughout North America. The FMC agreed and, in mid-2015, approved. The timing seemed to be perfect. The ports, located only 30 miles apart, were losing trade to ports in both Canada and Mexico. At the same time, the Panama Canal expansion was nearing completion, and 18,000-TEU vessels were beginning to enter the trans-Pacific trade. Communications director for the alliance Tara Mattina said, "We competed for almost 100 years. We've traded shipping lines, but overall we were losing market share. We realized that what we had been doing wasn't going to work in the future." Combined, the ports form the fourth-largest container gateway for shipping between Asia and major distribution points in the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the East Coast. "The alliance allows us to leverage the strategic investments we make - instead of putting money into property to compete - we can now make the investments at a time when they make sense," said Mattina. The alliance operates a service center with connectivity to all stakeholders. Its performance metrics, put forward by stakeholders, revolve around efficiency and reliability as they impact the supply chain. The gateway has made progress on-port and off-port. It has focused on first-mile, last-mile connectivity, and its efforts were recently rewarded with a heavy-haul corridor to optimize routing of a significant portion of their business. On the eve of its first anniversary, Mattina said, "It is nice to report that the alliance is working." For other port pairs looking to ally, Mattina offered these words: "Keep your eyes on the prize. It is difficult work to bring together two different ports, different cultures. Effective change management is critical. Keep at it." There are important performance gains at stake. to build the facilities needed to compete with out-of-state ports and to build trade. Competitive to a Fault Although the greater good is usually better served by developing new markets than by filching cargo from a neighboring port or state, it can still happen; the East Coast happily picked up West Coast cargo during the labor and trucking issues of recent years. And ports have occasionally overbuilt infrastructure, with an eye on competitors' cargo. To prevent that, the focus must shift to one of regional, and, ultimately, nationwide efficiency, according to Mario Cordero, chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and a former port commissioner. He 28 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE said, "We encourage port collaboration, particularly with regard to ports who are in the same geographic regions. In my view, the close proximity of some major ports require they work together for the greater good: the economy of that particular region." U.S. West Coast Collaboration Back in 2009, on the heel of the recession, six U.S. West Coast ports and two railroads turned heads. Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Oakland, Long Beach and Los Angeles, together with the BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad, jointly launched a collaboration to sell the trade advantages of the U.S. western seaboard. Marketing materials at the time featured fast Asia to U.S. transit times and quoted Omar Benjamin, then executive director of the Port of Oakland: "Today's economic conditions have compelled all of us to take a closer look at how we conduct our business to discover new approaches that yield improved results. This is happening throughout the entire supply chain...Our mission is to further strengthen the U.S. West Coast ports' position as the preferred gateway for Asia cargo to and from the Midwest and cities further east." The participation of the railroads wasn't just lip service. The group foresaw the value of marketing their complete logistics package. Railway executives spoke of performance measures: capacity and service enhancements creating fast, reliable service to more markets, and a commitment to help shippers get more from their supply chains. The collaboration was a measured response to a hard-hitting mix of recessionary impacts and global trade and transportation changes. More than a marketing effort, the group advocated for infrastructure investment and endorsed a national goods movement strategy. Although metrics showing the success of the West Coast collaboration would be confused by the economic recovery and a jumble of concurrent changes in global trade and transportation, it was assuredly a precursor to the two current West Coast port alliances. The Port Competition - Collaboration Continuum Ports compete for business always. Fisher said that while ports rarely cooperate in a manner that spikes productivity metrics, they do find great value in sharing insights in ways that further their region or industry as a whole. Fisher added that, unfortunately, many port partnerships have been curtailed, presumably because they haven't borne fruit but also because of changes in management and governance. Cruise range associations are an exception to that rule. Cruise Canada New England, for example, which began in the 1980s as the New Atlantic Frontier with a handful of port calls, is now a wellestablished itinerary - it wrapped up the 2015 season with 2.44 million passengers on 1,554 ship calls, contributing an estimated $543 million in direct economic impact, according to the CCNE Alliance.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Seaports Congestion and Cargo Movements
The Future of Automation
Port Cooperation: In the Name of Productivity
Strategy at Seaports Is Key to Handling Capacity Challenges
Thinking Outside the Box: Productivity at Non-Container Ports
Latin America’s Proactive Approach
Cruise Port Productivity — Upgrading Infrastructure for a Growing Industry
Modernizing America’s Ports for the Next Generation
Thank You, Helen Delich Bentley
Working Together for Seamless Experiences
Optimizing Systems for Profitability
New Orleans Marketplace
Index of Advertisers
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - AAPA Headquarters
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 7
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - From the President’s Desk
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 9
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Seaports Congestion and Cargo Movements
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 11
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 13
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 14
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 15
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - The Future of Automation
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Port Cooperation: In the Name of Productivity
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Strategy at Seaports Is Key to Handling Capacity Challenges
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 36
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 37
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Thinking Outside the Box: Productivity at Non-Container Ports
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 40
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 41
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 43
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Latin America’s Proactive Approach
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Cruise Port Productivity — Upgrading Infrastructure for a Growing Industry
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Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Modernizing America’s Ports for the Next Generation
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 57
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Thank You, Helen Delich Bentley
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 59
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Working Together for Seamless Experiences
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 61
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Optimizing Systems for Profitability
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - New Orleans Marketplace
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 64
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - 65
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers
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