Top Ports V - Global Trade Magazine
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  April 21st, 2015 | Written by

Top Ports V

PORT OF TACOMA
Don Esterbrook, chief operation officer

FTZ No. 86
Big Ship Ready: Yes
Rail: BNSF, UP
Highways: I-5, I-705
Days to Hong Kong: 12
Top Exports: Grain, Cereals, Meat
Cargo Types: Containers, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk

What infrastructure additions has the port made to support shippers over the past two years?
We made an important investment in our on-dock rail at our East Blair facility, home to our break-bulk business. By adding the on-dock rail, it reduces the chance of damage to the equipment and, ultimately, the cost to the customer—so that was a significant milestone for us.

What do you have in place to get trucks in and out fast?
This is a very important issue to us. We’ve added additional queuing area for one of our busiest terminals, added additional staging area. We’re piloting Bluetooth technology to manage and monitor truck turn times, not only in the terminal but the total time once they are in the staging area.

What’s your elevator pitch?
For the last two years we were voted highest-ranked West Coast port for ease of doing business. We worked hard to earn that business and continue to earn our customers’ appreciation for our value. It can’t be overstated enough, the ease of doing business; cargo will flow where there is the least amount of resistance and we realize that means providing service, reliability and consistency.

 

PORT OF PORTLAND
Greg Borossay, senior manager, Trade and Cargo Development

FTZ No. 45
Big Ship Ready: No
Rail: BNSF, UP
Highways: I-5, I-84, I-205
Days to South Korea: 11
Top Exports: Wheat, Potash, Soda Ash
Cargo Types: Break Bulk, Dry Bulk, Ro/Ro

What infrastructure additions has the port made to support shippers over the past two years?
We’ve had a number of rail projects including expansion of the Burlington Northern automobile processing facility in North River Gate and completion of the Ramsey rail yard at South River Gate for the Union Pacific. All of these enable us to handle larger trains for our bulk and auto franchise areas.

What’s your most under-appreciated asset?
The biggest one, I think, is our barge system and what it means for agricultural exporters in the region. All the other West Coast ports, with the exception of Portland, are deep water, but they don’t reach inland the way the Columbia River does, so we actually have service that reaches all the way up to Idaho.

What’s your biggest locational advantage?
We’re located between the California and Canadian border; as a result we’re a domestic termination point for a good deal of 53-foot equipment. We have some real potential as a transload center and quite a few major shippers are already using Portland as a transload gateway.

 

PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO
Jim Maloney, Maritime Marketing manager

FTZ No. 3
Big Ship Ready: Yes
Rail: UP, San Francisco Bay Railroad
Highways: I-280, U.S. 101
Days to Shanghai: 15
Top Exports: Beef Tallow, General Cargo
Cargo Types: Dry Bulk, Break Bulk, Liquid Bulk

What infrastructure additions has the port made to support shippers over the past two years?
We’ve received a federal grant to rebuild the connector rail track from the port to the main rail line. It’s something that needed to be done but we’re also upgrading the connector at the same time so it can handle heavy-unit trains with things like iron ore and bulk commodities, enabling the port to handle more of that.

What’s your most under-appreciated asset?
The fact that we’re a thriving bulk port. Last year we had probably the best year we’ve had in bulk in the past 10 years; primarily aggregate and sand, a lot of it used in construction and concrete production. We shipped just under 1.7 million metric tons of the product last year.

What exciting developments are on the horizon?
We will be asking for proposals for a new bulk export facility at Pier 96 which has been underutilized for the better part of 15 years. We’re going to build a facility for the export of iron ore and other metal ores and we’re excited about the prospect of repurposing that facility for bulk export.

PORT OF SEATTLE
FTZ No. 5
Big Ship Ready: Yes
Rail: BNSF, UP, Northwest Container
Highways: I-5, I-90, SR 18, SR 167
Top Exports: Industrial Equipment, Oilseeds, Inorganic Chemicals
Cargo Types: Containers, Break Bulk, Liquid Bulk

PORT OF OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON
FTZ No. 216
Big Ship Ready: No
Rail: BNSF, UP
Highways: I-5
Days to Japan: 14
Top Exports: Logs
Cargo Types: Containers, Break Bulk

PORT OF LONGVIEW, WASHINGTON
FTZ No. 120
Big Ship Ready: Yes
Rail: BNSF, UP
Highways: SR 432
Days to Korea: 14
Top Exports: Logs, Lumber, Steel
Cargo Types: Containers, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk

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