When the Port of Seattle lost the Grand Alliance shipping lines, followed by Hamburg Sud, to Tacoma earlier this year, it cost the seaport at least 20 percent of its container business. Seattle’s port announced this week it is keeping the South Korean line Hanjin Shipping, with a lease extension by Total Terminals at Terminal 46 through 2025.
To stay, Hanjin will get a $4 million fee, funded from seaport operating revenues, and up to $35 million in capital improvements. The port also will make concessions on the rate structure. The port estimates that Terminal 46 generates 20 percent of its cargo traffic, as well as 3,200 jobs.
Revenues from the operation are $370 million a year plus $24 million in state and local taxes.
If Seattle had lost Hanjin, it would have been a crippling blow to the container business in Seattle, the port’s Century Agenda ambitions — and it would have rippled outward. One big effect would have been on the Seattle International Gateway yard of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, where containers are loaded onto rail cars. It also would have been the end of a long partnership: Hanjin has been operating in Seattle harbor since 1981, and has been at Terminal 46 since 1986.
The deal was approved at a port commission meeting this week. Gael Tarleton, commission president, said, “The cargo handled at T-46 means thousands of jobs and economic benefit for our region, which gets us closer to achieving the goals of the Century Agenda.”