May 19, 2014 8:40 AM, EDT

Port of Seattle Proposes to Expand Terminal 5 for Larger Ships

Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle said it proposed to relocate cargo activities from Terminal 5 so the port can reconfigure it to handle larger ships.

Three of the port’s container terminals have super post-panamax cranes that service 10,000 20-foot equivalent unit vessels and above, but the cranes at Terminal 5 are not able to handle those ships, according to the port.

“If we're going to keep jobs in Washington state, we need investments that make us globally competitive,” Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant said in a statement. “That’s why we’re rebuilding T5.  We’re investing in jobs. Modernizing T5 so it can handle the new, big ships is the first step in realigning our port for the future.”

Under the proposal, Terminal 5 operator Eagle Marine Services would shift its operations to Terminal 18, allowing it to preserve container volume and ship calls.

Cargo destined to T5 would begin transitioning to T18 in mid-June. The proposal with EMS is pending approval by the Port of Seattle Commission.

“T5 needs to be modernized for the bigger ships that are already here. We applaud the port in working with us to preserve our customers’ cargo through this gateway,” Nathaniel Seeds, chief operating officer of Eagle Marine Services, said in a statement.