APL signs lease for expansion of Seattle port
AMERICAN President Lines (APL) and the Port of Seattle have signed a 30-year lease amendment for a significant expansion of the ocean carrier's Seattle marine container terminal.
The expansion will add about 30.5 hectares to APL's terminal, bringing the total size to nearly 65 hectares.
Under terms of the agreement, APL also will have an option to expand the terminal by an additional 12 hectares.
A significant feature of the expanded terminal will be an on-dock rail facility that APL expects to greatly improve the efficiency of the company's operations in the region.
The two major railways serving the Seattle area - Burlington Northern and Union Pacific - will have access to the facility.
All of the terminal's operations will be managed by Eagle Marine Services, APL's stevedoring subsidiary.
''We expect the expanded terminal with its on-dock rail facility to be one of the most advanced intermodal operations in the transportation industry,'' APL executive vice-president John Burgess said.
''We congratulate the Port of Seattle for its excellent work to date with the railroads and the community to realise our plans.'' Finalisation of the lease agreement was delayed by negotiations over rail access to the terminal.
The lease provides for a minimum financial commitment from APL of US$10 million annually.
Additionally, the port will receive revenues from such activities as rent for special improvements, intermodal facility charges and crane-rental fees.
APL's decision to expand its Seattle terminal, creating a Pacific Northwest load centre, is part of a plan to increase the carrier's ability to handle expected growth in Pacific Rim trade into the next century.
Mr Burgess said new efficiency improvements, such as on-dock rail and an expanded vessel berthing area, will help APL continue to provide high-quality service as customer requirements increase for fast, reliable global transportation.