Port of Tacoma is an independent seaport located in Tacoma,
Washington. The port was created by a vote of Pierce County citizens
on November 5, 1918. The Edmore was the first ship to call at the port
in 1921. The port's marine cargo operations, among the largest in the
United States, was merged with the
Port of Seattle's in 2015 to form
the Northwest Seaport Alliance.
1.1 Nineteenth Century
1.2 Settlement wih Puyallup Tribe
1.3 Northwest Seaport Alliance
5 See also
7 External links
The port started out on 240 acres (0.97 km2) of land, and now
owns more than 2,400 acres (972 hectares) of land that are used for
shipping terminal activity, warehousing, distributing, and
Prior to the establishment of the
Port of Tacoma, much of Tacoma's
shipping activity took place along Ruston Way and along the mouth of
the Thea Foss Waterway, which opens into
Commencement Bay and the
larger Puget Sound. Tacoma's role as a shipping center dates to 1853,
when the first cargo of lumber was shipped to San Francisco.
Tacoma's status as a major trading hub was greatly strengthened by the
1873 decision by the
Northern Pacific Railroad
Northern Pacific Railroad to establish its
western terminus at Commencement Bay. Tacoma was chosen over other
nearby cities such as
Seattle for several reasons: Commencement Bay
could dock more than 50 ships at a time, the harbor was deep enough
for vessels of any draft, and there were miles of tideland waterfront
available for expanded port facilities.
Settlement wih Puyallup Tribe
The United States Army Corps of Engineers straightened the Puyallup
River between 1948 and 1950, leading to litigation in the early 1980s
over ownership of 12 acres of land formerly in the riverbed. The
Puyallup Indian Tribe
Puyallup Indian Tribe won their case in federal court.
Subsequently, The Puyallup Tribe of Indians Settlement Act of 1989
ceded the Tribe's remaining land claims over 120 acres of the
Tacoma, in exchange for $162 million and other
benefits. The claims dated to the 1856 Medicine
Creek Treaty and the Puyallup's 1856–1857 renegotiation of their
reservation boundaries at Fox Island. The reservation still exists
legally and includes at least the Port's land between Hylebos and
Blair Waterways and the entire city of Fife.
Northwest Seaport Alliance
On October 7, 2014, the
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.
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; 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.
The port plays a large international trade role in the Pacific
Northwest, and is a municipal corporation that operates under
Each year, the port handles between about 9 and 13 million tons of
cargo, and more than $25 billion of commerce. Major imports
include automobiles, electronics, and toys, while major exports
include grain, forest products, and agricultural products. Based on
tonnage, the port's largest export is grain (corn and soybeans) that
come into the port by rail from the Midwest.
In 2010, the
Port of Tacoma's top trading partner, based on two-way
trade value, was China/Hong Kong. China/
Hong Kong was also the top
partner ranked by volume imported and value imported.
Japan was the
top partner ranked by volume exported and value exported. The top
commodities exported, by value, were cereals and grains. The top
commodities imported, by value, were vehicles and parts, followed by
industrial machinery and electronics.
The port is among the top ten largest container port in North
America. Containers hold everything from computers and lawn
furniture to apples and frozen meat. Based on container volumes, China
is the port's largest trading partner.
More than 70 percent of the containers imported through the port move
by rail to markets in the Midwest and East Coast. The port is served
BNSF Railway and
Union Pacific railroads. Shortline rail
service is provided by Tacoma Rail, which is owned by the City of
U.S. Oil and Refining
U.S. Oil and Refining operates an oil refinery in the
Port of Tacoma.
Oil tankers bring crude oil, which is refined into a variety of
JP-8 jet fuel for
McChord Field Air Force base.
The refinery and airbase are connected by a dedicated pipeline,
Kaiser Aluminum plant, now part of the superfund site, in 1972.
The port is part of one of the largest superfund federal environmental
remediation sites in Washington, the Commencement Bay
Nearshore/Tideflats Site. The
Port of Tacoma has been working with the
United States Environmental Protection Agency
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington
Department of Ecology on cleanup efforts at various sites within the
larger superfund area.
Port activities are related to more than 43,000 jobs in Pierce County,
and 113,000 jobs in Washington state.
There are more than 70 public ports in the state of Washington.
The port is sometimes called the "Gateway to Alaska", handling more
than 70 percent of all waterborne commerce moving from the Lower 48 to
Alaska by water.
Over the last 20 years, the port has invested more than $160 million
in projects designed to improve the environment in and around
List of North American ports
List of ports in the United States
List of world's busiest container ports
Port Militarization Resistance
United States container ports
^ a b c "
Port of Tacoma - 1800-1900".
Port of Tacoma. Archived from
the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
^ a b Puyallup Indian Tribe, Plaintiff-appellee, v.
Port of Tacoma,
Defendant-appellant, 717 F.2d 1251 (9th Cir. 1983), Justia
^ Rosier, Paul C. (2003), Native American Issues, Contemporary
American ethnic issues, Greenwood, p. 67,
^ David Wilma (October 21, 2006), Puyallup Tribe of Indians accepts a
$162 million settlement for lost land on March 25, 1990,
^ Kate Shatzkin (February 27, 1990), "Settling Down On The Land -- Who
Are The Winners As Tribe,
Port Of Tacoma Draw New Boundaries?", The
^ a b George Hardeen (March 24, 1990), "Tribe to Sign Land Settlement
Pact : Indian claims: Puyallup members will share $162 million
for relinquishing interest in acreage in Tacoma area.", The Los
Timothy Egan (August 29, 1988), "Indian tribe agrees to drop claim
to Tacoma land for $162 million", The New York Times
^ "Puyallup Tribe of Indians", Tacoma Weekly, June 12, 2015, archived
from the original on February 17, 2017
^ 103 STAT. 83 - PUYALLUP TRIBE OF INDIANS SETTLEMENT ACT OF 1989
Public Law 101-41 (PDF), U.S. Government Printing Office, June 21,
^ "Ports of Tacoma,
Seattle announce alliance". The News-Tribune.
Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved October 7,
^ Garnick, Coral (August 4, 2015). "Seattle, Tacoma ports OK 'bold'
alliance in marine cargo business". The
Seattle Times. Retrieved
February 29, 2016.
^ 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.
Northwest Seaport Alliance
Northwest Seaport Alliance tops 3.5 million containers in 2015"
(Press release). Northwest Seaport Alliance. January 21, 2016.
Retrieved February 29, 2016.
Port of Tacoma Cargo Volumes".
Port of Tacoma. Archived from the
original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
^ a b "
Port of Tacoma - About Us".
Port of Tacoma. Retrieved May 28,
^ "McChord Pipeline Co". McChord Pipeline Company. Retrieved May 28,
^ "Pipelines" (PDF). Pierce County. Archived from the original (PDF)
on September 28, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
^ "Commencement Bay, Nearshore/Tideflats". EPA. Retrieved May 28,
Commencement Bay Success Stories". Washington Department of
Ecology. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved May 28,
Port of Tacoma - Economic Impact".
Port of Tacoma. Archived from
the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
Port of Tacoma website
Phil Lelli Papers. 1933-2004. 10.45 cubic feet (11 boxes and 1
vertical file). At the Labor Archives of Washington, University of
Special Collections. Contains records Lelli
collected about the
Port of Taco