Port Cooperation: Puget Sound May Offer Example for Tampa Bay

Mark Holan, January 20, 2014, Tampa Bay Business Journal

In a development that echoes Tampa Bay, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Wash. have launched talks to work more collaboratively on the Puget Sound waterfront.

The two ports have been in fierce completion for business, the Seattle Times reported, but now see the potential benefit of working together. The newspaper reported that some port commissioners expressed interest in a merger between the two ports, but a joint statement released Jan. 16 made it clear such a plan is off the table for the time being.

Relations between the Tampa Port Authority and Port Manatee have been choppy the past few months, even as the Florida Department of Transportation attempted to foster better regional cooperation between the public agencies.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal has provided extensive online coverage of the issue since November, when Port Manatee passed a resolution to “oppose any consolidation effort.” In a recent TBBJ video, however, Carol Whitmore, chair of the Manatee port, sounded a more cooperative tone.

On Wednesday, in his first “State of the Port” address, Paul Anderson, president and CEO of the Tampa port, is expected to unveil a new logo and brand strategy with a more regional emphasis.

Tampa Bay and Puget Sound are more than 3,000 miles apart on a diagonal across the continental United States.

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