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Delivering Opportunity in 2024

February 20, 2024

This is a summary of the State of the Port presented to the community on February 7, 2024. Read the annual report and video recap.

Stephen P. Metruck

Executive Director
Port of Seattle


In his annual State of the Port address, Executive Director Stephen P. Metruck provided an update on Port operations — how the Port is working to be adaptive in the face of constant change and leading into the future.

Port facilities are some of the largest job sites in King County because hundreds of private businesses with tens of thousands of employees help move people and goods and connect industry to ideas. Volume is not just a measurement of activity but the economic impact of that activity.

Volume in 2024 is expected either meet or exceed historical highs as the region continues to attract people and grow. Seattle and Washington state continue to be at the epicenter of the global economy. International travel is up 101% compared to 2019 levels and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is one of the few airports in North America to add services since the pandemic. With very high demand for Alaska cruises continuing, and high-profile events on the horizon such as the FIFA World Cup in 2026, demand at Port gateways is expected to continue climbing.

The Port’s five-year, $5.6 billion capital improvement plan prepares for increased volume. The Upgrade SEA program makes the airport ready for the future, going higher and wider everywhere passengers experience congestion today: on the drives, in the ticketing lobby, at security, and starting this year in the C Concourse. Improvements at Fishermen’s Terminal, the long-awaited Maritime Innovation Center groundbreaking, a new logistics center opening in SODO at Terminal 106, and advance planning for needed maritime industrial space at Terminal 91 provide jobs and economic opportunity today, while adapting to serve the future of your industry, businesses, and community for decades.

Metruck also highlighted environmental sustainability projects and successes, including waterfront electrification work that has made the Port of Seattle an undisputed world leader in shore power installations, progress on the cruise-led Pacific Northwest to Alaska Green Corridor, and projects that move the Port to phasing out emissions from its own operations by 2040, phasing out emissions at our seaport by 2050, and helping all industries operating at our airport to be carbon neutral or better by 2050 as well.

Excerpt from the speech:

What stands out for me this year, as you heard in the opening video, is that the Port and the region is at the beginning of a new chapter — a new post-pandemic chapter.

Reflecting on the last few years, we have come through a crisis that required many of us to focus on the day-to-day.

Now we need to focus on investments in capital and programs that build to a vision of the future.

It is our job to look ahead, to adapt and lead, to position you and your Port for tomorrow’s opportunities, with an approach that reflects the unique values of this very special region.

That is what makes the State of YOUR Port strong and enduring.


Commissioner reflections and priorities

Hamdi Mohamed

Commission President


The Port of Seattle’s 2024 goals and priorities will continue to center on fostering opportunities for entrepreneurs, innovators, and the everyday workforce — whether they're employed directly by the Port of Seattle or by businesses connected to our operations.

Within our airport alone, there are 151,400 jobs tied to aviation, alongside 46,800 maritime-related positions, totaling 198,200 jobs that are intricately linked to the Port's economic activity. These jobs are critical to advancing economic prosperity and growth throughout our region.


Toshiko Grace Hasegawa

Commission Vice President


We are stronger together and I’m so proud of the seeds of changes we’re planting.

With approval of the 2024 budget, my commission colleagues and I made it clear that we are here to champion environmental challenges for this generation and the next.

We allocated $12 million over the next five years to expand the South King County Community Impact Fund, which will empower community-based organizations with resources to fight climate change in their own backyard.

I am also so honored to have spearheaded the development of the Port’s Land Stewardship Principles last year, in conjunction with the Port’s incredible environmental team.

These principles serve as our value statement, on how we must prioritize environmental health as we continue to operate essential transportation infrastructure.


Fred Felleman



I’m particularly focused on looking to our region’s natural and cultural richness to support the development of sustainable ecotourism programs.

While the Port needs to do well to do good, it’s important to remember that we all depend on clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a hospitable climate to live.

Fortunately, our region has a wealth of all of these essential assets and people from all over the world want to experience our ecological diversity personally.

And tourism is big business in Washington — employing over 200,000 people and generating nearly $22 billion in annual spending.

While ecotourism adds outdoor recreational opportunities to our traditional tourism promotion programs, it must also be paired with additional efforts to protect and restore nature, the visitor experience, as well as the communities and cultures that draw visitors to this rich but fragile region.


Sam Cho



At the beginning of my term as President 2023, I set out a bold vision for us — to build the port of the future.

  • A future where we are a premier gateway for shipping
  • A future where Seattle Tacoma International is a five-star airport
  • A port of the future where we are the greenest port in North America

I'm proud to say that in one year, we've made incredible progress towards that vision.

  • We opened Terminal 5, phase one, with onshore power.
  • We received best airport in North America by Skytrax.
  • For a second year in a row, we approved a record capital projects budget of $5.6 billion for the next five years which will help build the airport of the future.


Ryan Calkins



Of the many things that the Port does, I am especially proud of our workforce development programs. To meet tomorrow’s workforce needs, we need strong programs in place now.

Our work with community partners to ensure Black and Brown communities, women, and gender diverse people can enter apprenticeships or programs for careers in Port-related industries is critical. And it doesn’t end at training. We also need to ensure that our workplaces welcome these new entrants to the workforce.

I have often said that we think about economic development exactly backwards. Instead of thinking about what we need to do to make our region attractive to CEOs, we need to think about how we make it attractive to workers.

Our region’s extraordinary economic history is the story of our workers: riveters on the aviation production line, longshore workers on the docks, fishers out at sea, and now, a new generation tackling a new set of challenges.


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