The Biz Buzz

Get the most up-to-date news, insights and analysis of Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound business.

NOTICE: The Biz Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved The Biz Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Category: Port and Trade

July
16th

Sea-Tac gets second daily Dreamliner flight

Sea-Tac Airport,  the second U.S. airport to host the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a regularly scheduled flight, will see more Dreamliner service beginning this fall.

According to schedules published this week, United Airlines will begin using a Dreamliner for its Sea-Tac-Tokyo flight beginning Nov. 5.

The Chicago-based airline now uses a larger Boeing 777-200ER for the flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport.  All Nippon Airways began flying a Dreamliner from Sea-Tac to the the Japanese capital last fall.

Those ANA flights were interrupted in early winter when all Boeing Dreamliners were grounded to solve battery fire problems.

ANA has resumed it

Read more »

July
15th

Finnish ice breaker departs Tacoma area for Alaska

A Finnish multi-purpose ice-breaker that spent much of last weekend in Tacoma and at the entrance to Quartermaster Harbor off Vashon Island departed early Monday for Dutch Harbor in Alaska.

After a brief, early morning stop in Seattle, the MSV Nordica headed out the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the 49th State.

The bulbous-bowed, 381-foot-long vessel is contracted to Shell Offshore by Arctia Offshore Ltd. for use in exploration activities in the seas off the north coast of Alaska.  The Nordica and its sister ship Fennica are part of a flotilla of ice-breakers, anchor-handling ships, supply vessels and tankers

Read more »

July
10th

Containership sets new size record for Port of Tacoma

A container ship longer and wider than a Navy aircraft carrier called at the Port of Tacoma’s Washington United Terminal Wednesday setting a new record for vessel size at the port.

The Zim Djibouti  has a capacity of 10,000 container units, about 40 percent larger than the typical container vessel that calls on port terminals.

Before the Wednesday morning trip by the Zim Djibouti up the Blair Waterway, the largest container ship to call at the port had a capacity of 8,500 container units, said Tara Mattina, the port’s communications director.

The container vessel is 1,145 feet long and 151

Read more »

July
9th

Tacoma-built high-technology fishing boat heading for Alaska

A boat whose bright blue hull had become a landmark along Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway over the last few months has bid goodbye to Tacoma and the shipyard that built it.

The Northern Leader, the largest commercial fishing boat built in the Northwest in the last two decades, left its moorings at J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Co. Sunday afternoon headed to Seattle for some brief final outfitting.  The vessel, 184 feet long and 42 feet wide, will then sail to Alaska where it will begin its working life.

The vessel’s departure was marked by a relatively rare occurrence, the raising of

Read more »

June
19th

Port of Tacoma container volumes continue outperforming 2012

The Port of Tacoma’s container business continued outperforming last year’s numbers with the port seeing nearly a 17 percent in container volumes in May.

For the year through the end of May, the port reported Wednesday that its container numbers were up 31 percent.  The presence of the Grand Alliance container shipping consortium at the port in 2013 was responsible for much of the increase.

Four container shipping lines, OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd, NYK and Zim, moved their Puget Sound base of operations from Seattle to Tacoma last July.  The four lines carry each other’s cargo in the trans-Pacific trade.

The port

Read more »

June
10th

Port Commissioner Connie Bacon honored with surprise Globe Award by World Trade Center Tacoma

Port of Tacoma Commissioner Connie Bacon was executive director of the World Trade Center Tacoma when it established the prestigious Globe Awards 20 years ago – and now she’s been given one.

At a recent meeting of the WTC Tacoma board of directors, Bacon was surprised to receive only the second Globe Award for Lifetime Achievement – the first recipient being former Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Bacon had been invited to the board meeting ostensibly to offer her views on the 20-year-old award program. Instead, she received one.

“Connie Bacon richly deserves this award,” said Hugh Carr, WTC Tacoma

Read more »

June
10th

Cranes drawing extra scrutiny from feds after string of fatalities in the Northwest

Federal inspectors will be conducting a round of enhanced inspections of cranes  at construction sites and ports beginning this week in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities from cranes mishaps in the Northwest.

Officials from the federal Occupational Health and Safety have investigated 13 crane-related fatalities in the last five years in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho.

The latest crane-related fatality  in Pierce County happened  March 12 when a longshore union crane mechanic was killed on a crane at the Port of Tacoma’s Pierce County Terminal.  Jeff Surber, 46, of Bonney Lake died while adjusting machinery atop one of

Read more »

June
8th

TOTE’s new natural-gas-powered containerships win award

A subsidiary of Seattle’s privately-held Saltchuk Resources Inc., TOTE, Inc. has become the first U.S. company to be awarded the Next Generation Shipping Award, at Nor-Shipping, a maritime forum in Oslo, Norway.

The award honors TOTE’s initiative in designing and ordering two new liquified natural gas-powered containerships for use in the Florida-Puerto Rico trade.  Those 764-foot ships will be built in San Diego by General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard.  The use of natural gas to power those ships will greatly reduce their pollution and diminish their carbor footprint.

The construction of those new LNG-powered ships will follow the conversion of two trailerships

Read more »