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Hauling Heavy Containers to Seattle

Around 1990, i worked for a firm hauling heavy containers from Vancouver to Seattle. Stinson Transportation had a fleet of odd trailers with jeeps and booster axles to facilitate the moving of over weight 40 and 20 foot containers.

A normal day would see me out of the yard no later than 3am, so as to be first in line at the dock in Seattle. The point of leaving so early is to try and beat some of the Seattle morning rush hour(s). One needs to be past Everett before 6am, or arrival at the dock could be way later than the 7am opening time.

After the container has been removed, we had to park with our truck and trailer to use a phone as there were no cell phones. What would be a good day is to load directly out of the pier that you are at, but that didn't happen often. Some days, there would be nothing and we would just come straight back home and load another for the next day, or if you got back early enough, to do a second run the same day. That was when the serious money was made, but you gave up all your free time.

Some days, dispatch would have a load out of Tacoma, and the drive down from Seattle was almost an hour so we didn't waste time. Usually I would stop at the Husky Truck Stop for more info and to get proper booking numbers and container number for the days pick up.

There were some really neat machines loading containers at some of the piers.

Some of the shipping lines using The Port of Tacoma at the time were Maersk and Sealand, both having huge operations.

If I was sent to Tacoma, the day always turned out to be long, by the time one is loaded out of Tacoma it is usually past 3pm, dropping you into Seattle Rush Hour(s) traffic and anyone who has gotten stuck in that traffic, knows just how painful it can be.

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