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Posted on May 29, 2017

Intermodal facility draws interest as an inland port

The Port of Quincy has recently been receiving a lot of interest and inquiries from shippers and other stakeholders about utilizing the port’s intermodal terminal as a westbound inland port, the port said recently.
The concept would have trains at the port’s intermodal facility loaded with ocean-going containers full of Washington dry agricultural products, such as wheat, dry corn, dry beans, hay, legumes and other grains, and then the containers would move by rail to the ports of Seattle and Tacoma to be loaded onto ships.
In February, the Northwest Seaport Alliance provided a presentation, “Inland Port Impact on Growing the Agriculture Industry,” to shippers and stakeholders in Central Washington. According to the presentation, an inland port would offer many benefits.
• Congestion on major roadways and mountain passes would be reduced as the number of truck trips per day would decrease to and from the Puget Sound area.
• Containers could be moved with more speed and reliability while lowering the carbon footprint of exports via rail.
• Containers could be spotted closer to the shippers, with 24/7 availability for picking up or dropping off containers in a secured yard.
• It would attract new investments in warehousing facilities and other industries.
• Exporters would be able to ship more of their products overseas because marine terminals would be less congested.
Rep. Matt Manweller, the co-chair of the Washington House rail caucus, stated in a press release: “There is a great deal of interest by the rail caucus in exploring the concept of an inland intermodal port or terminal that would give trucks that haul export containers of Washington state agricultural goods and other products the option of going to a less congested inland port location in Central Washington.”
The export containers could be loaded onto westbound trains at the inland port location instead of trucking the containers over busy freeways into more congested urban areas in the Puget Sound, explained Manweller.
Curt Morris, chair of the Port of Quincy, said in the release: “We appreciate the discussion and interest in the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal as an inland rail port in which ocean containers would be received and hauled by train to Seattle and Tacoma marine ports, and we look forward to working with various shippers, decision makers and other interested parties as these discussions continue.”
The Port of Quincy says its intermodal terminal is a modern and fully functional inland intermodal port facility located on the BNSF main line and the port has a successful track record of handling and shipping both westbound ocean containers and eastbound domestic intermodal containers.
In the early 2000s, export containers of refrigerated agricultural products were shipped by short-haul trains from the Quincy port’s facility to the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. More recently, until late 2014, the port’s intermodal facilities were used to load eastbound refrigerated intermodal trains, and several thousand intermodal containers per year were being shipped from Quincy to destinations in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

By Post-Register Staff

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