Freight News, Sea

Interest Growing in Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal as Inland Port for Puget Sound

[ May 20, 2017   //   ]

The Port of Quincy has recently been receiving a lot of interest and inquiries from shippers
and other stakeholders about utilizing the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal as a westbound inland intermodal port in central Washington in which trains could be loaded at the Intermodal Terminal with ocean containers of Washington State dry agricultural products (wheat, dry corn, dry beans, hay, legumes, and other grains, etc.), and then be railed to the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to be loaded onto ocean container ships.

In February, the NW Seaport Alliance provided a presentation/report to shippers and stakeholders in central Washington on the “Inland Port Impact on Growing the Agriculture Industry.”  According to the
presentation, an inland port would offer the following benefits:

* Congestion on major roadways and mountain passes would be reduced as the number of truck trips per day would decrease to/from the Puget Sound.
* 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 of picking up or dropping containers in a secured yard.
* Would attract new investments in warehousing facilities and other industries supporting the agriculture market.
* Turn times could be improved so that exporters would be able to ship more of their products overseas because marine terminals would be less congested.

“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,” stated Rep. Matt Manweller, the Co-Chair of the Washington State House Rail

The export containers could be then loaded onto westbound intermodal trains at the inland port location, instead of trucking the containers over busy freeways (such as I-90/Snoqualmie Pass) into more congested urban areas in the Puget Sound, explained Manweller.

The Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal is a modern and fully functional inland intermodal port facility located on the BNSF mainline (i.e…Stevens Pass line), and is available and ready to support or
provide the above mentioned services and benefits for shippers and exporters.  In particular, the Intermodal Terminal includes over 8,000 feet of rail storage/siding tracks and could easily accommodate loading westbound short-haul intermodal trains with 40′ or 20′ containers of dry goods such as hay, corn, wheat, beans and other grains or legumes, etc.
Additionally, the Intermodal Terminal includes: a container maintenance and cleaning facility, nearly 1 million square feet of warehousing in close proximity to provide shippers with distribution, cross-dock and
storage capacity in and out of central Washington, a container reach stacker, a top pick container loader, and a shuttle wagon/yard goat (i.e, small locomotive) to move and organize stacked containers within the terminal.   Furthermore, the Intermodal Terminal resides on 16 acres of land with another 20+ acres available for expansion on adjacent Port owned property to the east of the existing terminal.

The Port of Quincy has a successful track record of handling/shipping both westbound ocean containers and eastbound domestic intermodal containers.  In the early 2000’s, export containers of refrigerated
agricultural products were shipped by short-haul intermodal trains from the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal to the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.  More recently (until late 2014), the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal was used to load eastbound refrigerated intermodal trains, and several thousand intermodal containers per year were being shipped from Quincy, WA to various destinations in the Midwest and on the East Coast.