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Tacoma rallies to bring Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions to the Port

If there’s a lesson to take away from the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions story, it’s never say never.

In 2018, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions (WWS) wanted to move their auto transport business from LA to Tacoma. They saw the former site of Kaiser Aluminum’s smelter and saw unlimited potential. The 90-acre parcel was nothing more than a bare piece of land at the time, without power or water, but it was the right size and in the right place.

With a few years of work, planning and building, it would be the perfect place for an auto transport facility capable of processing 100,000 cars.

The only problem was WWS didn’t have years, they had months. Under strict deadlines from their customer, Nissan, they had 12 months to make the move and become operational.

WWS contacted the Port of Tacoma, the City of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Utilities asked, “Can it be done?”

“This was an opportunity for economic development; bringing new industries, new jobs, bringing new economic activity to Tacoma and so we did not lean away from the challenge, we leaned into it,” said Alan Matheson, assistant superintendent of Tacoma Rail.  “We figured out whatever obstacles presented themselves, found a way over, under or through them, and we made this work.”

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