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: Transportation

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 »

July
8th

SeaTac’s Alaska Air Group passenger traffic up 7.5 percent in June

Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, is reporting its passenger traffic rose by 7.5 percent in June.

That percentage increase matched the two airlines’ change in capacity exactly yielding a load factor (the percentage of seats filled by paying passengers) of 87.1 percent last month, an identical figure to that the airline holding company saw in June of 2012.

Alaska Airlines’ capacity increase of 8.6 percent was greater than its increase in passenger traffic of 8.1 percent decreasing the load factor on the long-haul carrier’s planes from 87.9 percent in June 2012 to 87.4

Read more »

July
3rd

South Sound gas prices down for the holiday

South Sound gas prices, which last weekend appeared to have stabilized at about $3.75 a gallon, have moved lower as the Independence Day holiday approaches.

In the Tacoma area, according to The News Tribune’s Gas Deal Finder, the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular Wednesday was $3.70 a gallon, down about four cents from this time last week.

And the price of petrol declined below the $3.50 mark at least one station, the CFN station at Puyallup and Portland avenues where a gallon cost $3.49 Wednesday afternoon. The Safeway in Federal Way at 1207 S. 320th St.

Read more »

July
1st

Alaska Airlines adding two new non-stop destinations from Sea-Tac, two from San Diego

Alaska Airlines will add Colorado Springs and Omaha to its repertoire of non-stop destinations from Sea-Tac Airport beginning next fall.

The SeaTac-based airline will also augment its Portland schedule with non-stop flights from there to Reno and Tucson.

The non-stop service from Sea-Tac to Colorado Springs begins Nov. 1.  Omaha will join Alaska’s route structure Nov. 7.

Alaska last operated from Portland to Reno in 2009 and from Portland to Tucson in 2003.

At least two airlines, Frontier and Western Pacific, have tried providing non-stop service from Seattle to Colorado Springs.  Both discontinued the service.  Frontier had made Colorado Springs

Read more »

July
1st

Boeing begins building first 767-based tanker for Air Force

Boeing workers at the company’s Everett plant have begun building the first major piece of the company’s new KC-46A airborne tanker for the Air Force.

Those workers have begun building the wings for the twin-engine tanker, which is based on Boeing’s 767 airliner.

Final assembly of the first KC46-A will begin in November at the plant with the first aircraft due to roll out of the factory early next year.  The plane will fly to Seattle’s Boeing Field in late spring next year to be outfitted with military equipment.

The first fully equipped tanker is expected to fly for the

Read more »

June
28th

Sea-Tac Airport closing middle runway for repairs for nearly a month

Sea-Tac Airport will close one of its three runways from July 8 through Aug. 2 to replace deteriorating concrete panels to extend the runway’s life.

The airport says the closure of its middle runway won’t delay aircraft arrivals or departures.  The summertime closure is the third time in the last four years the airport has shut down that 44-year-old runway for panel replacement.  The airport needs to completely repave the runway, but by replacing broken panels, the Port of Seattle, the airport’s owner, can postpone the reconstruction until 2016.

The airport prolonged the reconstruction by replacing 144 concrete panels in

Read more »

June
27th

Rail sale to Lewis County may help city extinguish debt

A $3 million offer from  Lewis County for a little-used piece of a City of Tacoma-owned railroad could help the city extinguish a $6.25 million debt.

Lewis County  wants to buy some 20 miles of rail line extending northward from Chehalis to near Maytown. That line is owned by the City of Tacoma and managed by the city’s Tacoma Rail short line railroad.

The Lewis County group would use the rail line for industrial and tourism development and for rail car storage. One of the proposed uses for the line would be as an excursion and dinner train route between

Read more »