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Message from the CEO:
Port Of Tacoma shows what we can do together

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 ( comments)
Port of Tacoma

One doesn't need to live in Tacoma for very long without realizing that the landscape is dominated by a massively beautiful and fascinating physical element that influences a great deal of everyday life.

I’m referring, of course, to the Port of Tacoma. (I’ll save praise for the other amazingly impressive objects for another day.)

The Port of Tacoma is my first port — that is, it’s the first one that I've lived so close to that it requires me to really think about it. So I have been thinking about it — and watching it, and learning from it. And I am being challenged by it.

Any time, day or night, there is always something going on at the port. Ships come and go. I can only guess at the variety and destinations of their cargo. Coming off those ships into our economy are things like cars and electronics from points to our west. Being loaded onto the ships to head into the global economy are things like grain and timber that came from points to our east. The port is a portal for transport and trade.

There are a wide variety of boats, from huge to small. I love how each vessel was intentionally crafted for specific purposes. Recently I watched as five tugboats guided a huge container ship safely into the port. It was like watching a well-rehearsed, oft-repeated dance, in which every move is carefully choreographed and every vessel-dancer is carefully and purposefully fulfilling its distinctive part.

But what makes the port most splendid — in addition to its inherent natural beauty — is the energy that is created by a constantly shifting, dynamic environment. What makes the port so amazing is not how it looks in a static photograph, it’s what it looks like in motion. It’s the fluidity of the Port of Tacoma that releases all that extraordinary energy and power into the world. If the port were to stop moving — stop responding to the next wave of vessels, or the build-up of outbound shipments, or the changes in the weather — it would soon expire.

A changing, dynamic environment — like our beautiful Port of Tacoma — is a wonderful thing, enthused with the energy and possibility of life. It causes me to think about what happens when people, faced with a dynamic environment, ask, “What can we do together?”

Posted in: CEO Perspective

About The Author

Bill Robertson Bill Robertson, President and CEO
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