Monday, December 21, 2009

Update: How Port of Seattle is doing

Dear Friends,

People often ask me about how the Port of Seattle is doing in these tough times.

After two years of reform, our port is poised to take on the New Year.

Throughout 2009, the port commission worked closely with port CEO Yoshitani and port staff to eliminate programs that had outlived usefulness, to cut payroll, to increase employee medical contributions and to scrutinize expenditures. As we approach year-end, those tough decisions are producing positive results. Our projected net income is over budget and we were able to cut 2010 taxes.

Here is a summary of how we are finishing this challenging year (thru November):

Airport passenger traffic is down only 3.5%, much less of a decline than at many other airports.

Marine cargo through November is down 9.7%. As a comparison, Tacoma is down 16.5%, L.A. is down 15.4% and Long Beach is down 24.5%.

The Port of Seattle’s total operating revenue for the first eleven months of 2009 was 3.1% below budget, but expenses were 14.3% under budget.

Net Operating Income before depreciation was 11.6% over budget

In addition, starting in 2010, the seaport, like the airport, will cover its own capital costs from its own profits and should no longer rely on the property tax levy.

For 2010, the port commission reduced the property tax levy and increased reserves for future environmental and transportation expenses.

If you have a question or comment, please send it to me via my website, or email me at


Commissioner Bill Bryant

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