SASCO's first ship, Selenga, left Everett fully loaded on July 18, bound for the Russian far east. The line will serve Pevek, Russia, from Everett, carrying mining equipment and supplies, among other things. Most of the line's ships are "ice-class," meaning they have more than the usual hull strength to navigate sea ice. This is crucial in the line's home waters around Sakhalin Island, where SASCO carries cargo and passengers.
On Wednesday, SASCO's newly acquired and renamed ship Simushir is to arrive for loading.
SASCO is the port's fourth major carrier. The others are Eastern Car Liner (ECL), which serves Asia with so-called roll-on, roll-off ("ro-ro") cargo like cars, trucks and heavy equipment; Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO), a U.S.-Russian joint venture that carries containers and vehicles; and Westwood Shipping Lines, which specializes in forest products and oversized cargo as well as containers.
Monday's harbor tour, despite blustery weather, was an opportunity for the port's new customers to take in the big picture. Several dozen people were aboard the Hat Island ferry Hat Express, which cruised south from the 12th Street Yacht Basin near the port headquarters, around Naval Station Everett and up the East Waterway and back.
Besides SASCO representatives, aboard the tour were the local Russian consul; representatives of SASCO customer Kinross Gold Corp., a mining company; presentatives of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU); and Port of Everett officials.