A new facility at the Port of Tacoma will be one of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions' most advanced processing centers because it is being built from the ground up rather than renovated.
Nissan will ship vehicles through the Pacific Northwest for the first time via a facility being built by North American logistics partner Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions at the Port of Tacoma, in Washington.
WWS is leasing 90 acres of land, previously home to a Kaiser Aluminum smelter, for 30 years. The $35 million facility, with annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles, won't by fully operational until the end of March but expects its first vessel in mid-December, said Katie Whittier, port communications director.
Port of Tacoma
2017 auto volume: 146,885 imported (–11%)
Used by: Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Suzuki
Nissan needs more West Coast capacity because further growth is constrained at its busy Port of Los Angeles gateway.
Tacoma was selected because of its large local market and good on-dock rail service, which will allow the automaker to transport vehicles to the Midwest for distribution to dealerships. Under the logistics plan, new volume and some vehicles previously discharged in Los Angeles and shipped north by truck or rail now will go directly by water to the Pacific Northwest, said John Felitto, a WWS senior vice president.
Nissan is the base customer, but the auto terminal will have room to serve other automakers as well. Initial annual volumes for the Rogue and other models built in Japan and South Korea will be in the range of 30,000 to 45,000, he said.
Tacoma will be one of WWS' most advanced processing centers because it is a being built from the ground up rather than renovated, he added. The site will have LED lighting, floor coatings that reflect light and environmentally friendly building materials, paint booths and drainage.
"It's as close to a LEED-type building as you can get," Felitto said.
WWS has called Tacoma for years, primarily transporting "high and heavy" equipment, and sister company Eukor delivers Hyundai and Kia vehicles at a terminal nearby.