Mission

The Port of Tacoma makes strategic investments in our harbor and community to promote prosperity, trade and jobs, while protecting and enhancing our environment.

About the Port of Tacoma

Founded in 1918, the Port serves greater Pierce County by promoting trade, supporting family-wage jobs, and improving the environment. Today, more than 42,100 jobs and nearly $3 billion in economic activity in Pierce County depend on the Port of Tacoma.

We are committed to strong fiscal stewardship of public funds, active marketing and development of Port assets to promote business growth and jobs, and environmental remediation of Port-owned properties.

Through The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a marine cargo operating partnership of the Tacoma and Seattle ports, our trade customers move goods from all corners of Washington and the United States through the Tideflats to people all over the world.

We value our relationships with the community, customers, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, municipal governments, Joint Base Lewis–McChord (JBLM), and our regional economic development partners.

The Port is an independent municipal corporation that operates under Title 53 of the Revised Code of Washington.

Values

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  • Integrity and Transparency
  • Excellence
  • Adaptability
  • Stewardship
  • Teamwork and Partnerships
  • Health and Safety
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Learn more about our mission and values.

Organizational Structure

The Port's major departments and function areas are:

  • Executive
  • Engineering, Environmental, and Planning Services
  • Finance, Contracts, Purchasing, and Public Records
  • Communications and Governmental Affairs
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Maintenance (Equipment and Facilities)
  • Real Estate
  • Security

The Port’s five Commissioners are elected by Pierce County voters and serve as the board of directors for the Port.

The Commission sets the Port’s strategic direction and delegates the implementation of the Strategic Plan to the Port’s executive director who, in turn, works closely with Port staff to carry out the goals and strategies contained in the plan.

The Port has nine departments that support the vital role we play in creating and sustaining sound economic development for Pierce County and Washington state.

Major business areas

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Container shipping terminals

The Port has five major container terminals where some of the world’s largest container shipping lines call. These terminals are managed by the NWSA. The Port licenses about two-thirds of its property in the Tideflats to the NWSA to support this business area.

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Breakbulk and bulk terminals

Breakbulk cargoes—ranging from John Deere tractors to Caterpillar equipment—also move through Port-owned and operated facilities. The Port also has a grain terminal on Schuster Parkway, which exports corn and soybeans that come to Tacoma by rail from the Midwest.

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Real estate

The Port leases land and buildings to job-creating customers for a wide range of uses including, logistics support, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. The Port owns and leases space at The Fabulich Center, a five-story office building located in the Tideflats that opened in 1985.

Tax levy

The Port of Tacoma levies a property tax (at less than the maximum allowed by law) that is only used for debt repayment, environmental projects and transportation investments. The tax levy is not used for Port operations. Read more information about our financial reports.

Our history

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The Edmore, a commercial steamship that arrived March 25, 1921, to pick up lumber bound for Japan, was the first vessel to call at the port.

More than 100 years ago, the leaders of our community had a vision—to create a publicly owned port that would bring more ships, cargoes and jobs to our community.

On Nov. 5, 1918, Pierce County citizens cast their vote to support that vision by creating the Port of Tacoma—Pierce County’s Port—and electing our port’s first three commissioners.

Learn more about our history.

We started out on 240 acres of land in the Tacoma Tideflats. Today, the Port covers nearly 25,000 acres in the port industrial area, creating more than 42,100 jobs and nearly $3 billion in economic activity.