NWSA’s Terminal 5 handles largest vessel yet

Aerial view of the Port of Seattle and Harbor Island

Terminal 5 in the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) gateway handled its largest vessel yet after the MSC Virgo called at its facilities.

The 15,000 TEU ship docked at the container terminal on 18 February and followed the 13,000 TEU MSC Margrit that berthed last week.

This marks the second largest vessel to dock at the NWSA gateway since its inception in 2015.

Terminal 5 has recently been modernised to handle the largest ships in Transpacific trade with its newly configured dock and deep-water berth.

The MSC Monterey became the first vessel to call at the terminal since completion of phase one of the program allowed cargo ships to call at the gateway. Four new Super Post-Panamax cranes were ready to work the ship upon its arrival.

“The NWSA is proud to welcome a series of ultra-large container vessels to Terminal 5. These ships utilise Terminal 5’s on-dock rail system which moves containers more efficiently from the terminal to the final destination,” said the NWSA in a statement.

“Terminal 5 is increasing access to good for businesses, expanding job opportunities across the Puget Sound, and supporting export opportunities for Washington state and Midwest agriculture producers.”

In January 2022, the NWSA saw its container volumes drop by 5.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.

During the month, a total of 272,281 TEU passed through the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle, with full imports declining 0.9 per cent and full exports declining 36 per cent year-over-year.

The NWSA pinned these disappointing volumes on vessel call omissions driven by congestion and a lack of equipment and vessel capacity.

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