Growing by leaps and bonds.
The Port of Seattle knew that Terminal 18 was the ideal opportunity for a major terminal expansion to help meet cargo growth projections for the region. We knew that the facility was critical to our US business strategy and that nothing less than a state-of-the-art facility would meet our long-term goals. The challenge was to fund the $300 million project jointly but not to affect either partner's balance sheet, borrowing capacity, or credit rating. Our solution was to create a public/private partnership that was the first to use a 'project finance' approach for a marine container facility in the United States. Instead of burdening the public with bonds funded by tax revenue (a customary scenario) or looking to raise the funds through typical commercial financing, we arranged to have our rent payments to the Port of Seattle provide full security for the Port-issued bonds. The end result: a facility that's the largest in the Pacific Northwest with 200 acres, twice the intermodal rail capacity, improved road access, an extended berth, and a deepened channel. All parties achieved their goals, and we continue to grow.