“INFORMATION IS EVERYTHING”
As an operating association the Marine Exchange is quite unique in Puget Sound. The Exchange’s primary role is providing communications and information services to its members. The membership is a mix of Puget Sound-based steamship agents and operators, tug boat operators, ship chandlers, port authorities, and state and federal agencies along with a wide range of maritime industry support businesses.
The Marine Exchange was founded in 1981 and is governed by a board of directors made up of members. Today, the Exchange serves as an information clearinghouse for its members providing a wide range of services. Our answering service remains the backbone of our organization and we handle well over 600 calls a day for 75 customers. The Exchange is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The Exchange tracks and monitors vessel movements starting about 15 days prior to arrival in Puget Sound or Grays Harbor. We collect information on over 66 different data fields. We use the data to create reports which are disseminated to our members daily, weekly, monthly and annually. The maritime industry has come to rely on this data and use our statistics to help run their businesses on a daily basis.
Some organizations in the maritime industry do not have an administrative staff. The Exchange provides support services for the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee (PSHSC), the Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC), the Emergency Response Towing Vessel, the Propeller Club of Seattle, and the Puget Sound Marine Firefighting Commission (PSMFC). The services for all of these organizations include invoicing and accounting, coordinating meetings, and maintaining membership lists and meeting records.
The Exchange also manages and operates the West Seattle mooring buoys on behalf of BUOYS-R-US. This includes taking reservations, maintaining the buoys and billing for use of the buoy system, which is primarily used by the tug and barge industry.
The Exchange has implemented it’s own Automated Identification System (AIS ) network in the PNW covering all of the Salish Sea from just north of Vancouver BC to and including the Columbia River and off the Washington Coast generally out to 50 miles but at times out to 150 miles. The Exchange provides on line access to this information “on a need to know basis” to its maritime community members and to government agencies.
The Exchange management also serves on many boards including the National Association of Maritime Organizations (NAMO), the Maritime Information Service of North America (MISNA), the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (OCNMS) as well as serving as advisor to the steering committee of the PNW PMSA. The Exchange serves on the steering committee of the regional advisory council of the Oceans Commissions (NANOOS) and maintains the Harbor Safety Plan for Puget Sound. The Executive Director is also a member of the Area Marine Security Committee (AMSC) by appointment of the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port.
The Marine Exchange of Puget Sound is also the PROUD sponsor of the Pacific Northwest Ports Handbook.