Under the lease, which runs until 2034, the Port will redevelop the TOTE terminal to a size of up to 72 acres (29 ha), allowing TOTE to serve the growing Alaska market for decades to come.
“Over the past three decades, TOTE and the Port have grown together to expand our region’s business with Alaska,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Dick Marzano. “And with that growth, many primary and secondary support companies – both here and in Alaska – have expanded to serve TOTE’s business. We are very proud that, with this agreement, we’ll be able to continue our longstanding relationship with TOTE, also ensuring that the Port of Tacoma will remain the ‘Gateway to Alaska’ for years to come.”
TOTE’s opportunity to expand was created by the Port’s recent agreement with NYK Line to build a 168-acre (68 ha) facility for container terminal operator Yusen Terminal Tacoma Inc. (YTTI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYK Line. Portions of TOTE’s existing 47-acre (19 ha) terminal will be incorporated into the NYK terminal.
Construction of the new, US$104.3m TOTE Terminal is scheduled to begin in 2009 and to be completed in 2011. Construction of the YTTI terminal will start in 2010 and will be complete by mid-2012.
TOTE operates a ro-ro service between the ports of Tacoma and Anchorage, moving 53 ft highway trailers directly on and off vessels. The company first began calling in Tacoma in 1976. Three decades later, more than 70% of all waterborne commerce between the lower 48 states of the USA and Alaska is handled through the Port on vessels operated by TOTE and Horizon Lines, Tacoma’s other Alaska carrier.
The Alaska trade makes up 25% of the Port’s total trade volume, making Alaska its third largest trading partner behind China and Japan. In 2006, TOTE and Horizon Lines collectively handled more than US$3.5bn in goods between Tacoma and Alaska.