iMediterranean Shipping Company will bring growth, jobs

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the second largest operator of container ships and one of the fastest-growing maritime transportation companies in the world will begin calling at the Port of Seattle next year.

‘We’re thrilled that MSC will be in our harbor,’ said Port of Seattle Commission President Patricia Davis. ‘The arrival of this very dynamic company brings a new shipping line to the Puget Sound region and builds on the growth in container volumes we’ve experienced in recent years.’

Geneva-based MSC has experienced dramatic growth in recent years. The number of vessels the company operates increased from 140 in 2000 to 278 in 2005. MSC’s container volume grew from about 2.5 million teus in 2000 to 6.5 million teus in 2005.

‘Beginning direct service to Seattle will help us continue to grow and provide better service to our customers,’ said Matt Wypyski, Owner’s Representative for MSC.

MSC’s ships will begin calling at Terminal 18 on Harbor Island in 2007. The facility is leased and operated by Seattle-based SSA Terminals (SSAT). MSC tentatively plans to move to Terminal 30 in 2008. The move is dependent upon Port Commission approval and completion of a project to return Terminal 30 to use as a container handling facility under lease to SSAT. The two berth cruise terminal currently located at Terminal 30 would be moved to Pier 91 under the proposal.

‘The goal of the project is to maximize use of our maritime facilities and to capture some of the ongoing growth in the transpacific container trade,’ Davis said.

The Port expects MSC to move 221,000 container teus through Seattle in 2007, generating more than 300 local jobs.

‘Those figures are expected to grow as MSC increases its presence here,’ said Port of Seattle CEO Mic Dinsmore. ‘Bringing MSC to our community will enhance our already robust maritime economy and strengthen our position as one of the nation’s premier trading regions.’

In 2005 the Port of Seattle was the leading container port in the Pacific Northwest and the fifth largest in North America with a total of 2.088 million container teus. Cargo shipping activity at the Port generates more than 18,000 jobs, in excess of $1billion in annual payroll, $1.44 billion in local business revenue, $252 million in local purchases and $105 million in state and local tax revenue, according to a 2003 economic impact study commissioned by the Port.