Maersk signs contract to stay with Port of Seattle
Last week The News Tribune speculated that the Port of Tacoma’s updates to its Pier 3 infrastructure would allow the port to host Maersk Line’s new “Triple E” containerships, the world’s largest vessels.
The Port of Tacoma had been recruiting Maersk to return to Tacoma after it left two years ago to join its containership partner CMA CGM at the Port of Seattle.
But now Port of Tacoma spokeswoman Tara Mattina says Maersk has signed a contract that will keep it calling at the Port of Seattle for several more years.
The huge new ships being built in Korea for Maersk are more than 1,200 feet long. They will carry some 18,000 container units. That compares with the 6,500 or so container units that the average container ship now carries to the Port of Tacoma. The new ships likely won’t call at the Port of Seattle either. The shipping line has said it will likely use those ships first connecting Asia with Europe.
The updates the port is planning for Pier 3 will include cranes large enough to handle containership loads 24 containers wide. The “Triple E” ships are 23 containers wide.