Yang Ming Tacoma Berth: Taiwan-based carrier, Port of Tacoma sign long-term lease

Officials from Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation and the Port of Tacoma recently met at Yang Ming headquarters in Keelung, Taiwan last week to sign a long-term lease agreement, providing the ocean shipping line its first single-user, dedicated terminal in the United States.

The agreement outlines an initial 12-year term lease with one five-year renewal option. It calls for the Port to refurbish Terminal 7-D in preparation for Yang Ming’s first ship call in summer 2005.

“We chose the Port of Tacoma for its ideal location as the gateway to the Pacific Northwest,” said Spring C.C. Wu, President of Yang Ming America Corporation. “With direct access to an on-dock intermodal network, increased terminal productivity and berthing specifications well suited for our vessels, the Port offered the right opportunity for Yang Ming to develop a dedicated terminal to serve our customers in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) trade lane. Expected to be operational by mid-2005, Yang Ming’s dedicated terminal will help meet with the increased service demands between Asia and the U.S. West Coast, as well as provide our customers with greater benefits and the convenience of a distribution center and gateway port. Yang Ming is confident that our relationship with the Port of Tacoma will prove beneficial to long-term commitments.”

Through vessel-sharing agreements with long-time Port of Tacoma customer “K” Line, Yang Ming has operated through the Port since 1996. “We have watched Yang Ming grow into one of the world’s leading container transportation companies,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich, addressing Yang Ming officials. “During this time, you took note of how we value relationships and the premium we place on the success of our customers.

“As our customers have prospered and cargo volumes increased,” Petrich continued, “thousands of family wage jobs have been created for our community.”

Timothy J. Farrell, the Port’s Acting Executive Director, said the Port of Tacoma will provide Yang Ming with the facilities it needs to be successful today and in the future. “Our Port has built its success on the efficiency of our intermodal rail system, providing our customers with low-cost, seamless transport east to markets such as Chicago and New York,” he said. “More than 70 percent of our international import cargo is transported by rail, and for our community, that means minimal truck congestion and less environmental impact.”

Located on the Port’s 51-foot-deep Sitcum Waterway, Terminal 7-D offers Yang Ming 54 acres (21.85 hectares) adjacent to the Port’s North Intermodal Yard. The agreement outlines an option to expand to 76 acres (30.76 hectares) in the future.

International Transportation Service, Inc. (I.T.S), a member of the “K” Line Group, currently leases Terminal 7-D from the Port. In August 2004, I.T.S. signed a re-stated lease with the Port of Tacoma to expand its operation onto Terminal 3-4 on the Blair Waterway. The Port expects to complete this re-alignment by spring 2005.