Celebrating our Five-Star Working Waterfront
Celebrating our Five-Star Working Waterfront

Our Maritime Matters

Today, our maritime industry has never been stronger – or more important to our region. Around here, maritime matters.

 

Washington State’s Maritime industry is rooted in the State’s rich history of timber production, its location as a trade hub, and its proximity to some of the world’s most productive fisheries. And we’ve always been the primary gateway to Alaska and Asia.

 

Our maritime industry is annually worth $37.8billion to the state economy, according to a 2017 study by the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle and King County. In 2015, the industry directly employed 69,500 workers, with an average salary of $69,500 – nearly $20,000 above the state’s median salary!

 

Washington is also the most trade dependent state in the United States.  Today, four in ten jobs in Washington are tied to international trade, according to the Port of Seattle.

 

And the maritime industry is thriving!

 

The growth of the industry is not just in shipping. You can see the strength of the industry at our shipyards, cruise ship terminals, Fishermen’s Terminal, Shilshole Bay Marina, ferry terminals and maritime businesses throughout Washington.

 

Click here to check out all of the recent economic impact studies of our maritime industry.

 

Maritime Milestones

1850      

SS Beaver, first steamship in the Pacific Northwest is commissioned by Hudson’s Bay  Company

 

1873

Northern Pacific Railroad chooses Tacoma as western terminus of transcontinental line.

 

1889

Thea Foss founds Foss Launch Co., later to become Foss Maritime, the largest tug company
on the West Coast. Tugboat Annie character based on Ms. Foss.

 

1891

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard established.

 

1897

Steamship Portland arrives with a "ton of gold,"starting the first Seattle boom as miners by the thousands began their northward journeys.

 

1911

Washington State Legislature enacts a law allowing the establishment of a port district and King County voters to approve creation of the Port of Seattle on September 5th.

 

1914

The Port of Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal is dedicated the North Pacific Fishing Fleet makes it their home port.

 

1916

Todd Shipyards purchased Seattle Construction and Drydock, expanding to Harbor Island in 1917.

 

1919

NYK Steamship Line offers regular sailings between Japan and Seattle.

 

World War I

Plants, such as Todd Shipyards and Skinner & Eddy Corporation, are busy with wartime  contracts for the Emergency Fleet Corporation. 30,000 men find work at eight shipyards over the next few years.

 

1921

The Port of Seattle innovates with cold storage facilities never before seen. The Spokane St. Terminal is used for freezing, handling and storing fresh-caught fish from Alaska as well as keeping Washington apples, pears, berries, eggs, butter, and cheese refrigerated until they are exported or sent to local markets.

 

1923

Lumber is the top export; the annual cut is over five billion feet. Half of Washington State residents are employed in lumber or allied trades.

 

1927

Trade to the Orient now accounts for 50 percent of the Port’s foreign commerce.

 

1934

Lake Washington Ship Canal completed.

 

World War II

Todd Shipyards gears up for World War II, ultimately employing nearly 57,000 nation-wide, building 1,000 ships and repairing or converting another 23,000.

 

1949

Port of Seattle is granted authorization for Foreign Trade Zone No. 5 (FTZ), one of the oldest in the nation.

 

1951

With the buyout of Puget Sound Navigation., Washington State Ferries come into existence.   Today, it’s the largest passenger and automobile ferry fleet in the United States. Its 23 ferry vessels carry more than 23 million ferry passengers and 10 million vehicles annually.

 

1962

The Port of Seattle’s Shilshole Bay Marina is formally dedicated, marking the opening of
the area’s finest recreational moorage facility with room for 1500 vessels.

 

1964

First Sea-Land container ship arrives, marking the beginning of the container shipping at the
Port of Seattle.

 

1970

Grain exports get a new home with the opening of the $15 million Pier 86 Grain Facility.

 

1976

Magnuson-Stevens Act establishes 200-mile fishery conservation zone off the U.S. Coast,
consolidating control over territorial waters a
nd managing fisheries.

 

1984

An all-time high of one million containers moves through the Port of Seattle.

 

1999

The cruise terminal at Bell Street Pier welcomes its first cruise ship.

 

2009

A New Cruise Terminal: Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Terminal 91 opens.

 

2011

Vigor Industrial purchased Todd Shipyards.

 

2012

Washington State Ferries announce conversion to natural gas.

 

2014

The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma announce Northwest Seaport Alliance.

 

2017

Centennial of the Ballard Locks.

 

Sources:

Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, Community Attributes (2013), and
Port of Seattle. For more information:
http://www.portseattle100.org/map-and-timeline/

Upcoming Events

Join the celebration of our working waterfront this April through June during the Harley Marine Seattle Maritime Festival. Key Dates:

 

April 19      

Seattle Propeller Club Luncheon             

 

April 22

Duwamish Clean-Up/Earth Day

 

May 11

Stories of the Sea

Highliner Public House

Fishermen’s Terminal

 

May 12

Walking tour of Fishermen’s Terminal

 

May 13

Family Fun Day

@ Seattle Maritime Academy

4455 Shilshole Ave NW

Just east of the Ballard Bridge

 

Experience Maritime! Don’t miss the free fun including interactive displays, three Ship Canal Boat Tours, kid’s activities, demonstrations, and other special events

 

May 19     

Maritime Festival Breakfast

Marriot Waterfront Hotel

 

June 9

NOAA Open House

12 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Western Regional Center

7600 Sand Point Way NE

 

June 21

Seattle Propeller Club Luncheon

 

All events subject to change.

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©Seattle Maritime 101. Design by Saunderson Marketing Group. Photos courtesy of Don Wilson, Port of Seattle, Vigor, Puget Sound Pilots, Seattle Maritime Academy, Seattle Propeller Club and Washington State Ferries.