The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) – which manages the marine cargo operations of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma on the northern US Pacific coast – has partnered with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to preposition containers near the port terminals to help improve service for shippers of US-grown agricultural commodities.
A 49-acre pop-up site at NWSA’s existing near-dock facility at Terminal 46 in Seattle will accept dry agricultural and refrigerated containers for temporary storage to put them close to the export terminals, enabling their quick loading on ships that are readying to depart.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will make payments to agricultural companies and cooperatives that preposition containers filled with agricultural products at the pop-up site. The FSA payments of $200 per dry container and $400 per refrigerated container are intended to help cover additional logistical costs.
This initiative is expected to complement the recently announced expansion of the Federal Maritime Commission’s VOCC audit program that will focus increased attention on how shipping lines are serving US export shippers.