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  April 11th, 2014 | Written by

Port of Seattle

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Bari Bookout, Director,Commercial Strategy; Peter McGraw, Seaport/Real Estate Media Officer

FTZ No. 5 • 520 container terminal acres • 11 berths • 50-ft. channel

Rail: BNSF, UPRR, Northwest Container

Highways: I-5, I-90

Top export destinations:China, Japan, South Korea

Top export commodities: Animal Feeds, Paper and Forest Products, Vegetables


Bari Bookout: Seattle is the second largest distribution and warehousing, manufacturing hub on the West Coast. It is the second largest warehousing and distribution center in the U.S. We have the largest cranes in North America that can handle the largest ships.

Peter McGraw (PM): A naturally deep water port, we’ve got access to UP and BNSF rail lines right at our front door along with ….

Bari Bookout (BB): We’re the gateway to Alaska and Hawaii.

PM: We have I-5 and I-90. It goes all the way across the United States and of course down to San Diego. They both intersect right here at the Port of Seattle.

Global Trade: Now with a lot of the ports preparing for Post-Panamax ships, when all of that is completed, will you still have the largest cranes?

BB: If they order cranes as big as we do, yeah. But we just received cranes that were recently manufactured to handle the largest ships.

PM: It will go 24 containers across.

BB: Our seaport has been container focused. We do have a grain terminal facility that handles bulk grain.

GT: You said you have a naturally deep harbor. I am wondering how deep it is?

BB: Well, right up into the very short channels you get into the berth at 200 feet and then our channels are 50 feet. We don’t have any lengthy river dredging requirements like a lot of ports do on the East Coast especially, and the Gulf.

GT: So with all of the warehouse and distribution space, do you get a lot of exports going out from Seattle that originate much farther away in the country?

BB: We are blessed as a region to be a very wealthy export source here in the state of Washington and in the Northwest. We have a huge volume of exports that are generated locally, primarily agriculture, forest product. We’re a very large reefer port, so we handle apples, seafood from Alaska, french fries, all kinds of interesting commodities, so much that we do handle Midwest grain and things like that, but we are able to fill up the ships with our local export volume.