Port of Seattle 95 results

FOLLOWUP: Seattle-bound Hanjin Scarlet finally offloading at Prince Rupert

3:24 PM: The Hanjin Scarlet is being offloaded at Prince Rupert. That’s news here because it was the next Hanjin ship scheduled to dock at Seattle’s Terminal 46, until its parent company filed for receivership in South Korea. Instead of docking at the British Columbia port, Hanjin Scarlet remained anchored in its harbor – until today. It docked at 6 am, according to an update from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. It had been scheduled to offload there in time to arrive here last Saturday. We’re checking with the Northwest Seaport Alliance – the combined Seattle/Tacoma port entity – to see what they’ve heard about a possible arrival here.

5:54 PM: NWSA spokesperson Tara Mattina says they have no new information yet on whether Hanjin Scarlet will head here from Prince Rupert, but hope to find out something tomorrow. Also tomorrow: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch meeting (11:30 am, Jack Block Park) looks at “the state of the port,” with commissioner John Creighton and deputy CEO Kurt Beckett scheduled to speak.

Despite Hanjin trouble, Port of Seattle insists Terminal 5 modernization is ‘vital’

image1 (52)
(July aerial of West Seattle with Terminal 5 at left, shared by David)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The news of shipping line Hanjin, a major Port of Seattle customer, filing for the equivalent of bankruptcy in its home country, South Korea, has sparked renewed discussion about the nine-digit-price-tag plan to modernize West Seattle’s Terminal 5.

Is the project really necessary, amid the turmoil in the shipping industry, with the port operating without T-5 for more than two years now? We put that question to the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the entity formed a year ago by the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

First, the latest on how Hanjin’s receivership filing on Wednesday is affecting the Port of Seattle: Read More

PORT TRUCKS: New terminal-gate program to start next week, aimed at reducing backups

(SDOT webcam screenshot from June 2016 backup)

The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma are going to try something new starting next week in hopes of lessening truck backups as drivers wait to get into cargo terminals. From the announcement:

The Northwest Seaport Alliance will reimburse up to $2 million to extend gate hours at its international container terminals during peak season.

With cargo owners forecasting a 3 to 5 percent increase in volume during peak season, which will start in late August and continue through early November, the alliance proposes to help the marine terminal operators avoid congestion on surface streets in the port industrial area and keep import and export cargo flowing efficiently.

This program will reimburse terminal operators for some of the costs to operate flexed gates from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and lunch gate hours Monday through Friday during peak season.

It also would provide one off-shift gate per week. Off-shift gates are after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or any shift on Saturday or Sunday.

This is set to start on Monday (August 22nd), according to the full announcement, which you can see here.

Deeper water by Terminal 5? Public meeting next week

Along with the ongoing environmental review of the big proposal to “modernize” the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 in West Seattle, a parallel process is under way for possible deepening of the water nearby. One week from tonight, a public meeting is planned for information and comments about the tentative plan announced recently by the port. From the official announcement:

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Port of Seattle have agreed on a tentatively selected plan of -57’ Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) for both the East and West Waterways. This depth will allow the Port of Seattle, part of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, to handle the current and future generations of ultra-large containerships. Comments on the Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment may be submitted by email, at the upcoming public meeting, or in written form.

Details of the plan are here; the meeting is at 5:30 pm Thursday, August 18th, at South Seattle College‘s Georgetown campus (6737 Corson Ave. S.) If you want to comment by e-mail – the address is SeattleHarbor@usace.army.mil and the deadline is August 31st.

Time’s running out: Terminal 5 comment deadline Friday afternoon

(WSB file photo of Terminal 5)

If you have something to say about the proposed “modernization” project at West Seattle’s Terminal 5 – especially something you hope the project will include, in response to environmental factors including traffic, noise, water quality, air quality – you’re running out of time to say it during this round of planning. You might recall that the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was extended, by community request, after last month’s public hearings; the new deadline is just two days away – 4 pm Friday, July 8th. Information that might help:

Official Port links:

The “online public meeting”
Volume 1 of the Draft EIS document (13 MB PDF)
Volume 2 of the Draft EIS document (65 MB PDF)

Other links of potential interest:

WSB coverage of the first community meeting on June 5th
WSB coverage of the second community meeting on June 9th
WSB coverage of T-5 discussion at West Seattle Transportation Coalition in May
WSB coverage of official DEIS release announcement in May
Neighbors’ concerns/petition

So, you know what you want to say, but want to know how to say it? Here’s how to comment, from the Port website:

The comment period will end at 4 p.m., July 8. Comments can be submitted online at t5eis.publicmeeting.info and via email at SEPA.p@portseattle.org.

Written comments can be mailed to:

Paul Meyer (Email: meyer.p@portseattle.org)
Environmental Services
Port of Seattle
P.O. Box 1209
Seattle, WA 98111

Last Shell-support vessels leave West Seattle’s Terminal 5, headed for Arctic retrieval

Aiviq Departure
(Photos courtesy Foss. Above, Aiviq departing this morning)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than a year after the first Shell support vessels arrived at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 in West Seattle, the last of them have departed – headed for the Arctic, but not to drill.

We just confirmed this with Foss Maritime, which leased space at T-5 in February 2015, a half-year before Shell’s decision to abandon its Arctic-offshore-drilling plans.

While the protester-targeted drilling platform Polar Pioneer (which left T-5 almost exactly a year ago) did not return to T-5 after its Arctic efforts were stopped, assorted support vessels did, including the three that left today.

Our inquiry followed a tip from Jon in Luna Park, who reported seeing the three vessels – Aiviq, Dino Chouest, and Ross Chouest, heading out this morning.

Dino Departure
(Dino Chouest departing this morning, with Ross Chouest at left)

Paul Gallagher of Foss Maritime, terminal manager for T-5, just confirmed the departures:

The three remaining Edison Chouest Offshore support vessels departed Terminal 5 this morning bound for the Arctic.

Over the past few months, the T5 team has been working closely with Edison Chouest and Fairweather LLC to prepare the vessels for the summer season and their mission to retrieve all of the mooring gear left on the seafloor by the Shell exploration rigs.

It is worth noting that the T5 team and associated partners (Jones Stevedoring, ILWU, Global Diving, Ness Cranes, Waste Management, USSA Security, etc.) had no recordable or lost time injuries during the project since we began in February 2015. I truly appreciate all the hard work and attention to safety which was evident in our day to day operations and engagement with our subcontractors and customers.

We are still looking for other business opportunities for the Terminal 5 facilities, but we do not have anything firmed up or contracted.

Under lease terms made public by the Port in February 2015, Foss’s lease is for $550,000 a month.

Separate from the interim Foss lease, Terminal 5 is proposed for a quarter-billion-dollar project to expand its capacity, and the comment period for that project continues until July 8th.

NEW INFO: Saturday helicopter drill @ Terminal 5

(WSB photo from November 2015, helicopters at Terminal 5 during drill)

Just got more information about tomorrow’s drill at Terminal 5, which noted here last night after we found out about it from a Port rep. The lead agency is Seattle Fire, which just sent this:

Imagine a 9.0 earthquake so devastating that it impacts the entire Northwest Region. That is the basis for the Cascadia Rising earthquake exercise being held this week in multiple states. When a disaster of this magnitude strikes, a regional air response is necessary to face the challenges of saving lives over a large geographical area.

The Northwest Regional Aviation team will come together at the Port of Seattle Terminal 5 for a daylong series of helicopter drills that will utilize lifesaving skills necessary to meet the challenges of a regional disaster. In coordination with the Washington State Department of Emergency Management, a unified response with aviation resources from 10 different city, county and state jurisdictions including 6 aircraft will demonstrate the technical aspects of search and rescue, moving resources and transporting injured patients.

Observe landing and take-off procedures as multiple helicopters hoist and transport equipment and personnel in and out of the heliport base at Terminal 5. The community is invited to watch the helicopter rescue activities from the view platform located at Jack Block Park.

Agencies participating in the training:

Airlift Northwest
Bainbridge Island Fire Department
King County Sheriff’s Office
Port of Seattle
Seattle Fire Department
Seattle Police Department
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
Tacoma Fire Department
Washington National Guard

The drill is scheduled to start around 10 am and continue until about 2, according to SFD’s media advisory.

Also happening tomorrow in West Seattle as part of Cascadia Rising – two Emergency Communication Hubs events – details are in our preview.

By request, more time to comment on Terminal 5 draft environmental-impact report

June 10, 2016 12:07 pm
|    Comments Off on By request, more time to comment on Terminal 5 draft environmental-impact report
 |   Port of Seattle | West Seattle news

(Port of Seattle image with proposed project’s toplines)

They asked for it … they got it. As we reported in our coverage of both public hearings this week on the Terminal 5 Improvements Project, community members asked for an extension of the comment period; last night, Port of Seattle reps promised a decision by “early next week.” They’ve just announced the decision is in and the new deadline for comments is 5 pm July 8th. Go to the “online open house” to see how to comment.

WSB coverage of this week’s hearings:
Thursday in West Seattle
Tuesday in Georgetown

Air pollution, ‘annoyance noise,’ truck traffic, other concerns aired at second hearing for Terminal 5 review

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

You have 12 more days to comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Terminal 5 Improvements Project in West Seattle – unless the comment period is extended.

(Friday afternoon update: It has been.)

Both hearings for this stage of the process are now history, after tonight’s hearing, which was in West Seattle, at the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction. As we’d been told Tuesday in Georgetown (WSB coverage here), the format was exactly the same, though there were some divergences along the way.

Again tonight, Commissioner Fred Felleman opened, this time making a point to say “we don’t have a tenant yet” but promising they will “do it right” no matter what they wind up doing.

Paul Meyer, the port’s environmental manager, gave the presentation instead of deputy CEO Kurt Beckett, who was reported to have undergone “emergency dental surgery” earlier in the day, but did arrive around 6:15 pm. First, Commissioner Felleman said he wanted to be sure everyone understood that the Northwest Seaport Alliance jointly manages the Seattle and Tacoma container terminals, but not everything associated with both ports.

Read More

ALERT: Earthquake drill, with helicopters, at Terminal 5 on Saturday

June 9, 2016 7:51 pm
|    Comments Off on ALERT: Earthquake drill, with helicopters, at Terminal 5 on Saturday
 |   Helicopter | Port of Seattle | Preparedness | West Seattle news

Just found out tonight that Terminal 5 will host yet another drill with helicopters on Saturday – this time, as part of the Cascadia Rising megaquake drill that’s been happening at a variety of locations around the region. Susan Stoltzfus with the Port of Seattle told us about it at tonight’s T-5 Draft Environmental Impact Report public hearing (report to come). She says multiple agencies are participating with simulations including a collapsed building, and it’s scheduled between 10 am and 3 pm. If you’re interested in taking a look, she says you’ll be able to view it from the Jack Block Park overlook. In the meantime, if you notice the helicopters and/or other unusual activity at T-5 on Saturday, don’t fret, it’s only a drill.

P.S. As we’ve already reported, a much-more low-key – but no less vital – drill will be happening in High Point, and your direct participation is welcome – here’s where, when, and how.

PORT TRUCK BACKUP: East Marginal clearing


1:36 PM: Five hours ago, we got a tip that port trucks were backed up in a big way on East Marginal Way, north of Spokane. It’s apparently continued since then – but, per the scanner, the trucks are now dispersing, about 15 minutes after we took the screengrab you see above. They have reportedly been waiting to get into Terminal 46 off Alaskan Way, but, also per scanner discussion, police are saying that terminal is now closed for the day. We have an inquiry out to the port in hopes of finding out more. Truck traffic is of particular interest right now as one of the issues factoring into the environmental review of the Terminal 5 big-ship-readiness project, which has another hearing 5-8:30 pm tonight in The Junction (as previewed earlier).

2:35 PM: Haven’t heard back from the port yet but we’ve just heard police via scanner say that 46 is “open again.”

6:48 PM: Port spokesperson Susan Stoltzfus talked with us briefly at the T-5 hearing, saying all they could figure is that the trucks were “over-dispatched.”

TERMINAL 5 PROJECT: How public hearing #1 unfolded tonight

(T-5, empty since summer 2014, in center of 2015 photo by Peter West Carey)

We went to tonight’s Terminal 5 Improvements Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement public hearing in Georgetown mostly to find out the format so you know what to expect at the one in West Seattle on Thursday night.

So you can plan, here’s the format:

5-6 pm, open house
6 pm, presentation, including project background and information on the environmental-review process
6:30 pm, opportunity for attendees to ask “clarifying questions”
6:45 pm until 8 pm (depending on how many speakers), public hearing
8-8:30 pm, open house

Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters were available.

After a welcome by Port Commissioner Fred Felleman, an overview of the “project purpose” was offered, showing that while the current T-5 (which has been closed to cargo for two years now) is set for 136′ maximum ship width, the largest ships out there now go to 193′, and that’s why they need to make it “big-ship ready.”


The project is sponsored by the Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance – its partnership with Tacoma – but Seattle is the lead agency and responsible for the environmental review, which it originally wasn’t going to do – then, after considerable citizen urging, it changed its mind, saying it had discovered that the project was likely to be big enough to mandate one anyway.

As you’ll see in the DEIS, three alternatives are reviewed: Read More

Terminal 5 talk dives into ‘fluid’ seaport business @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

(February 29th view of CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin in Seattle; photo courtesy Deb)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For all the noise-making over the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin‘s Port of Seattle visit three months ago, it seemed barely a whisper was heard when news emerged three weeks ago that the largest cargo ship to visit the U.S. won’t make cross-Pacific runs after all.

But, Northwest Seaport Alliance deputy CEO Kurt Beckett told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s May meeting, expanding the capacity of Terminal 5 in West Seattle is still a must.

Beckett’s visit to the WSTC last Thursday night was supposed to be related to the T-5 project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, published by the port for public comment. The official deadline for that is June 21st, with two public meetings next week. But the discussion sailed beyond project specifics – which Beckett said he couldn’t discuss much anyway during the comment period – and into the waters of how “fluid” the seaport business is right now.

Read More

Terminal 5 modernization? Read, and react to, the draft Environmental Impact Statement

(January 2015 photo of Terminal 5 by Long Bach Nguyen)
Two years ago, the Port of Seattle took a major step in its plan to “modernize” West Seattle’s Terminal 5, weeks before shutting it down as a cargo terminal. And now, it’s time for the next step: The draft Environmental Impact Statement is ready for your review and comments. This is the report that wouldn’t have happened without a group of T-5 neighbors pushing for it; at first, the port didn’t think an EIS would be needed, but the neighbors begged to differ, and launched a petition drive. The port subsequently announced last fall that discussions with potential tenants revealed the scope of operations would require an EIS after all – and now, a one-month comment period has opened, as previewed at recent community meetings we covered. Here’s the port’s official announcement:

The Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance are proposing modifications to marine cargo facilities at Terminal 5.

The Port of Seattle, as lead agency under the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project, which includes berth deepening, dock strengthening, and power upgrades to handle larger cranes.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma governed jointly by the commissions of the two ports.

“The Northwest Seaport Alliance needs to make Terminal 5 ‘Big Ship Ready’ to remain competitive in today’s global economy,” said NWSA co-chair and Port of Tacoma Commission President Connie Bacon.

“Modernizing Terminal 5 will allow us to keep good paying middle class jobs in our region. We encourage the public to weigh in over the next 30 days with their comments about the proposed improvements—either online at your convenience or by attending one of our public hearings,” said NWSA co-chair and Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton.

The environmental review will evaluate potential impacts to earth, air, water, plants, animals, energy and natural resources, environmental health, noise, aesthetics (including light and glare), historic and cultural resources, transportation and public services.

Public comments on the Draft EIS will be accepted from May 23 to June 21, will be included in the SEPA record and may result in corrections, additions or clarification to the Draft EIS.

For tips on commenting, visit the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Citizen’s Guide to SEPA Review and Commenting.

The Draft EIS is available online at three locations:




Printed copies of the DEIS will be available at the Seattle Central Library, Delridge Library, South Park Branch Library and the West Seattle Library.

Printed copies also will be available at Port of Seattle offices, 2711 Alaskan Way, Seattle, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday – Friday, through June 21.

If you would like to receive a copy of the DEIS please contact Brenda Thomas at 206-787-3382, or email: SEPA.p@portseattle.org.

For more information on the proposed improvements and to comment online, visit t5eis.publicmeeting.info.

Comments can also be emailed to: SEPA.p@portseattle.org – please include your mailing address for a response. The other primary ways to comment are listed below:

The Port of Seattle is also hosting two public hearings for people to share comments on the Draft EIS:

Tuesday, June 7
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Georgetown Campus, South Seattle College
6737 Corson Ave. So.

Thursday, June 9
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Alki Masonic Center
4736 40th Ave. SW

If you need the assistance of an interpreter at one of the public hearing events, or want to receive a response to a question in your native language, please call the port’s language help line:

Para español, llame al (206) 787-3797 y marque 1.

Để sử dụng tiếng Việt, gọi số (206) 787-3797 và nhấn phím 2

Soomaali, wac (206) 787-3797, kadib riix 3.

សម្រាប់ភាសាខ្មែរ សូមហៅទូរសព្ទមកលេខ (206) 787-3797 ហើយចុចលេខ 4។

For other languages, call (206) 787-3797 and press 5.

We’ll be reading the draft EIS tonight; followups to come.

TERMINAL 5: Port expects draft environmental statement May 23rd, two meetings in June

May 5, 2016 2:56 pm
|    Comments Off on TERMINAL 5: Port expects draft environmental statement May 23rd, two meetings in June
 |   Port of Seattle | West Seattle news

IMG_1921 (1)
(WSB photo of Terminal 5 from March)

Our first report from last night’s Southwest District Council meeting:

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR TERMINAL 5: Paul Meyer of the Port of Seattle provided a quick update (as he had at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council last month). First, a recap of how they got to the point where they decided – as community members had urged – to prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed “modernization” project at Terminal 5 in east West Seattle. Then, a quick status report: “We’re almost there,” said Meyer. “We’re about to publish it.”

This time, he had dates: He said they think the publication date will be May 23rd, but it’s not completely locked in yet. Two meetings are scheduled for comments – June 7th at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) and June 9th at the Alki Masonic Center in West Seattle. Meyer said they’re expecting a 30-day comment period which would close June 21st if they publish on May 23rd. But – “they’re still writing” the document, he warned, so the dates MIGHT change.

NEXT REPORT: The bulk of last night’s SWDC meeting focused on community proposals for a share of the city’s Neighborhood Street Fund; the council has to decide which proposals to approve for sending forward in the process.

Also two weeks away: This year’s cruise-ship season

Now that we all know April 29th is the date the tunneling machine is set to start going under the Alaskan Way Viaduct – closing it precautionarily for “about two weeks” – that date will be top-of-mind for a while. Something else that’s big for the city also starts two weeks from today: This year’s cruise-ship season. The first ship on the schedule, Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam, will be here that day. But it’s docking at Magnolia’s Pier 91, not the Viaduct-side Pier 66. According to a Port of Seattle fact sheet, this year’s season will bring the most passengers ever – just under 960,000. The 203 ship dockings aren’t a record, though; that number peaked in 2010, with 223. Last ship on the Seattle schedule this year will be the Star Princess, on October 21st.

TERMINAL 5 TEST: Updated schedule

The “rapid-load” pile test scheduled at Terminal 5 this afternoon has been rescheduled to tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15th), according to Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw:

In response to concerns we’ve heard, we are postponing today’s test.

One of the reasons for the last test being more noticeable may have been its location at the south end of Terminal 5. When we reschedule, it will use less fuel than the last test, with the amount of fuel being the same as what was used in previous tests. We will also use noise and vibration monitoring devices in the vicinity of 37th & Prescott.

The tests will take place tomorrow and Thursday, both at noon. These will be the last of the rapid load tests.

A video made public by the port last week shows, close-up, what these tests look and sound like.

Also from the ‘in case you wondered’ file: Why the windows rattled, and might again

(ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: Newly published Port of Seattle video that, toward the end, shows one of these tests)

12:54 PM: We’ve just confirmed with the Port of Seattle that what rattled windows from Admiral to Pigeon Point a little while ago was another one of those rapid-load pile tests related to the planned Terminal 5 modernization project. Port spokesperson Peter McGraw says the test scheduled for yesterday – second one this week – was postponed until today because of the wind. Judging by the messages/questions we received, this one was apparently the most widely felt one yet. Here’s the original alert from December.

P.S. The next major step in the T-5 project, after this testing ends later this month, is the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement, expected in May.

ADDED 1:32 PM: McGraw just sent word that two more tests are scheduled, Monday (~3 pm) and Wednesday (~noon).

ADDED 8:06 PM: The Port has just published a video explaining how the tests work, and showing one – we’ve added the video above.

ALERT: Two more loud ‘rapid-load’ tests @ Terminal 5 this week

IMG_1921 (1)

If you’re in the Terminal 5 area – take note that the Port of Seattle has two more “rapid-load testing of piles” set for this week, as part of the design/permit process for the Terminal 5 Modernization Project. They’re both scheduled around noon, one tomorrow (Tuesday, March 8th), one on Thursday (March 10th). Port spokesperson Peter McGraw says it “will sound like a half-second cannon shot,” which one reader verified after a recent test (of which we didn’t get advance notice). If you have a question or complaint, here’s the address you can use: Terminal5_Outreach@portseattle.org – McGraw says the test results “may help reduce the number of piles required and the depth of pile installation, which in-turn would reduce noise associated with pile-driving during construction.”

VIDEO: ‘The future has arrived here today.’ Welcoming ceremony as CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin stops for Seattle ‘trial’

(Photo by David Hutchinson, taken from Jack Perry Park)

FIRST REPORT, 11:45 AM: It’s the most gawkable thing in our area today – the first-ever visit of the biggest cargo ship to call on North American ports, the CGA CGM Benjamin Franklin, whose arrival was watched at spots from sea level to skyscraper:

(Photo courtesy Deb)

It’s at Terminal 18 on Harbor Island, and it just received a VIP welcome across the East Waterway at Terminal 25, fireboat and all.

The event was a chance for the port to show off, in an intensely competitive time up and down the West Coast, as well as the rest of the world. (updated) Here’s our video of the welcoming speeches:

If you don’t have time to watch – some highlights:

Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman emceed. She described herself as an unabashed champion of the working waterfront. “We want to see our working waterfront filled more with working cranes than ferris wheels,” says Bowman.

Next: Mayor Ed Murray, who used the word “incredible” to refer to the ship and our local economy. He echoed Bowman in saying it represents our future as well as our past. And he gave a shoutout to the Lander Street Overpass, vital not only for port traffic but as a surface link between West Seattle and SODO/Downtown.

Northwest Seaport Alliance (the Seattle/Tacoma joint venture) CEO John Wolfe told the crowd he rode in on the Benjamin Franklin.


“What an incredible sight to come into the harbor and see the sunrise over the Seattle skyline.” He says this is the result of the industry “work(ing) together.” He says that in his days as a terminal operator, a ship with a third the capacity of this one – 6,600 containers, compared to 18,000 – was considered big. He touts nearly a billion dollars in investment ahead for the port (that would include the Terminal 5 modernization planned for northeastern West Seattle).

Ed McCarthy, senior VP of the ship’s owner CMA CGM, said it took months of work to get ready for this. He hailed the other modes of transportation it takes “to handle vessels of this size” – including rail and trucks. “There is still some work to be done” here in Seattle, he notes. “This is really a trial right now – the reason we brought the vessel in is that (company leadership) wanted to bring the ship into ports all over the West Coast … There’s a lot of learning we’re gathering from bringing the vessel in, and we’re looking forward to sharing that information with stakeholders as we complete the study.”

Carrix, the parent company of SSA Marine – operator of Terminals 18 and 30 – also was represented, by CEO Knud Stubkjaer.

IMG_2035 (2)

He said, “This is a moment we’ve been looking forward to, and we’ve been ready for a while.” He talked about the expansion work that has already been done at terminals including the one at which the event was being held, “to create what is a unique and competitive infrastructure for … our customers. … The future has arrived here today.” He also talked about the competition among West Coast ports, and the investment that others were making to fight for the business from megaships like the Benjamin Franklin.

Puget Sound Pilots‘ Capt. David Grobschmidt noted that his day started very early, as he and a team of pilots brought the Benjamin Franklin “successfully into Seattle,” starting alongside Port Angeles around 3 am. “We would really like to see this called her home port,” he concluded.

And president Rich Austin of ILWU Local 19 wrapped up, saying that on behalf of his union, they welcome the ship.


“There are many components to a successful port, and labor is as important as any of those components.” He noted that the ship represented “the future of the industry” and that a “new approach” identifies labor as “instrumental” in making this port “a shipper’s best option.”

Others here include not only port officials but also city and state elected officials. (added) Here’s the official port news release, including an infographic about the ship’s size and capacity.

3:01 PM UPDATE: We’ve added our video, above, of the entire 26 minutes of welcoming speeches. The ship is scheduled to be here until about 8 am Tuesday.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: One more visual – just found this time-lapse, from-the-bridge video published to YouTube by another of the Puget Sound Pilots who brought the BF in, Capt. Ed Marmol:

Megaship CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin off WA coast, due here in 12 hours

A photo posted by Port of Oakland (@portoakland) on

6:49 PM: That Port of Oakland photo from last week resembles what the view will be at Harbor Island’s Terminal 18 around sunset tomorrow – if the sun cooperates (it might). As mentioned here Thursday, the megaship CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin arrives here tomorrow morning, set to dock at T-18 around 7 am, spending one night here and leaving at 8 am Tuesday. With the capacity of 18,000 containers, it’s the biggest cargo ship to visit the U.S. This size of ship is the reason the Port of Seattle wants to expand Terminal 5. Right now, the Benjamin Franklin is approaching the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to MarineTraffic.com; it’s expected in Port Angeles around 3 am to pick up the Puget Sound Pilots who will guide it into Puget Sound, reports the Peninsula Daily News.

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE, 6:19 AM: The ship is just passing north Kitsap County right now – you can track it here.

VIDEO: Last stop before Seattle! Biggest cargo ship to visit North America now in Oakland

The Port of Oakland recorded that time-lapse video this morning as the 1,300-foot-long CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin arrived. It’s gained a lot of attention as the biggest cargo ship ever to call in North America, and it’s due to arrive here next Monday morning (February 29th). After stopping in Long Beach – where it was inaugurated last Friday – the Benjamin Franklin arrived in Oakland this morning; Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw says it’s due at Terminal 18 on Harbor Island around 7 am Monday, and will leave the next day, Tuesday (March 1st), at 8 am. No public events are planned during its stay, but the media’s been invited to a ceremony including the mayor and port reps; we plan to be there.

P.S. Other stats – besides the ship being more than twice as long as the 605-foot Space Needle is tall – it’s 177 feet wide and 197 feet high (roughly equal to a 20-story building), with its tallest antenna topping out at 230 feet.

NOISE ALERT: Next Terminal 5 piling test set for Friday

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: Just in from the Port of Seattle:

Rapid load testing of piles as part of the design and permitting process for the Terminal 5 Improvements Project is expected to occur around mid-day on Friday, Jan. 29. The test will sound like a half-second cannon shot. The sound can be as loud as 145 decibels. A total of nine rapid load tests will occur between January and the end of March, with no more than one test occurring per day. The first test occurred on Friday, Jan. 22. The test results may help reduce the number of piles required and the depth of pile installation, which in-turn would reduce noise associated with pile-driving during construction. All tests will take place Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in compliance with the City of Seattle Noise Ordinance. Federal, state and city agencies have issued permits for the test pile program.

Anyone hear the test last Friday?

FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The port says this will be closer to 3 pm.

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