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People of the Port: Kurt Mitchell


Meet Kurt Mitchell, who has served as one of two Load Dock Coordinators at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for seventeen years and counting. When a package is delivered to SEA Airport, it arrives at the Loading Dock first, where a Load Dock Coordinator works to get the package out of the hands of the shipping carrier and into the hands of the customer. Kurt’s responsibilities include interacting with a wide range of airport partners, including delivery drivers, contractors, airport employees, and dining and retail tenants. 

The Loading Dock is located underneath the Central Terminal of the airport. While passengers and friends are arriving and departing on the levels above, a regular flow of trucks is making deliveries below. Kurt ensures the area is safe and secure, monitoring the surrounding area and granting load dock access only to authorized drivers. On the rare occasion that an airport customer wanders into the area from the parking garage, Kurt kindly guides them in the right direction to the terminal.  

With a technologically advanced system in place, Load Dock Coordinators can see who is approaching the area and requesting access before they travel the road to the loading dock. When a delivery driver arrives at the loading dock, they are directed to a specific parking spot to unload. Kurt provides any assistance needed for a task to be completed, such as providing a hand truck, cart, or dolly to place packages on. Once the packages are scanned into an internal system, Kurt coordinates with tenants and department representatives to schedule a time for delivery or pick up. Sometimes, packages are not properly addressed or need further assistance to reach its final destination. Kurt is always willing to go out of his way to work through these challenges to satisfy customers in a timely manner. 

Prior to COVID-19, Kurt and his co-worker, Thomas Washington, were checking in around 200 packages a day. As SEA Airport saw less travelers, operations slowed rapidly and some businesses completely stopped. Lately, packages have slowed to around 50 packages a day.  

With less packages coming in, the Loading Dock Crew needed to pivot operations. Currently, Thomas and Kurt stagger schedules, alternating one week on and one week off. The work environment is usually fast-paced and busy, but Kurt now focuses his time cleaning and organizing the area, video chatting with his team, and interacting with reduced number of the drivers and airport workers who enter and exit through the load dock. 

After 17 years at the Port, Kurt’s appreciation for the people at the Port continues to grow. The dedication to diversity, the team culture, and the support and guidance that he has and continues to receive makes him feel welcomed and excited to show up to work each day. 

Outside of work, Kurt enjoys making improvements to his house and spending time with his grandkids. As Kurt approaches retirement, he is looking forward to doing a lot of traveling and spending even more time with his grandkids – with hopes that one of them makes it pro in basketball. Until then, Kurt wants to make the most of each day: “I just want to live my life because you only got one life to live.” 

Published Date
Aug 07, 2020
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