From the ports of Tacoma.

Author:Garland, Marsha

On Good Friday in 1964, a devastating earthquake rocked Alaska. For the next three months, Lynden Transport, Inc. shipped much-needed goods and produce to Alaska from Washington State via the Alcan Highway and by marine transport. Lynden used every transport vehicle the company could find.

Sea-Land Freight Services, Inc. also responded to the urgent need of its northern neighbors and shipped more than 126 containers (1,650 tons) of building materials and tools, as well as basic supplies such as food, blankets and clothing. This despite the fact Sea-Land was new to the Port of Tacoma and hadn't scheduled its first sailing until September. These emergency shipments became the first of the company's many regular shipments from Tacoma to Alaska.

The ties that were built during 1964 are still evident today. Port of Tacoma continues to be a hub of commerce from the world to Alaska, and is Alaska's hub to the world.

Cradled in the heart of Tacoma's Commencement Bay on 2,400 acres of land, the Port of Tacoma is an international hub for commerce. Transportation companies utilizing the facility travel worldwide, returning with goods destined for delivery to other ports. One such port is Anchorage.

Tacoma handles at least 70 percent of Alaska's waterborne commerce. If Alaska were a separate nation, it would rank as Washington's second largest export market (consumer goods), excluding aerospace.

In 1994, more than 22,000 jobs in Pierce County were related to the Port of Tacoma's activities, and port-related jobs generated $628 million in annual wages. About 8,547 of all transportation jobs in the region (9.5 percent) stemmed from trade with Alaska. These transportation jobs translated into $333.4 million in annual earnings.

Exports to Alaska supported 4,690 manufacturing jobs with annual earnings of $166.4 million. Alaska trade also accounted for an additional 2,000 indirect manufacturing jobs with $68.6 million in annual labor earnings.

The strong ties continue.

Last year, Tacoma was touted as the sixth largest container port in North America and ranked among the top 25 container ports in the world. The importance of the port's Alaskan connection can not be understated. In 1997, Alaska business generated over $3 billion in trade, and 9,000 Puget Sound jobs were directly related to Alaska trade.

Sea-Land Freight Service, Inc. and Totem Ocean Trailer Express accounted for 420,000 of the 1,143,000 container TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) that moved through the Port...

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