Cargo Operations

The introduction of ever-larger container vessels has triggered dramatic changes in container shipping in recent years. Investments in Terminal 5 are critical to remain competitive in the shipping industry.

Terminal 5 in West Seattle has long been considered a premier container cargo facility on the West Coast because of its naturally deep berth, wide footprint, and the availability of on-dock rail, which allows containers to be rapidly transferred from ship to train.

The new, ultra-large container ships require larger, heavier cranes with a longer reach, which in turn requires strengthening the dock and upgrading utilities.

In addition to infrastructure improvements, Terminal 5 modernization will include environmental investments to enhance water and air quality for the community, including updating stormwater treatment systems and installing shore power, which allows vessels to plug into electricity while at berth, substantially reducing air emissions. The plan also includes technology improvements to manage truck flow around the terminal and a railroad “quiet zone” to reduce noise impacts for the surrounding community.

An operator works at Terminal 5 as cargo containers are stacked in the background.
The dock upgrades will help attract cargo moving to and from destinations across the United States.