The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) has unveiled its Rail Cargo Incentive Program for 2023, which aims to promote growth and cost-effective operations in the Pacific Northwest region.
The programme is expected to increase cargo volumes in the gateway and reduce costs for importers and exporters who use the NWSA gateway and their rail partners, offering a $50 incentive per rail lift for eligible rail volumes moving through the gateway.
The initiative will kick off starting 1 May.
The NWSA expects the programme to generate around 60,000 additional rail lifts, or roughly 15 per cent of NWSA international intermodal lifts in 2022.
The initial investment will total $3 million in incentive funding, with the option of extending the program beyond April 2024.
READ: NWSA enjoys exports flow as total box volumes plummet
“The NWSA strives to be the most efficient gateway for cargo movement, and the implementation of the rail incentive will ensure that we remain cost-competitive while offering the same best-in-class service for our customers,” said NWSA Co-Chair Deanna Keller.
The programme will be available for most intermodal inland ramp locations served and/or operated by the BNSF and Union Pacific Railroads.
These include ramp locations in Minot (ND), Pocatello (ID), Millersburg (OR), and Wallula (WA).
The NWSA reported a 24.3 per cent decrease in total container volumes for February, down to 225,747 TEU.
The decline was driven by a 34 per cent drop in full imports, attributed to weak demand and uncertainty surrounding the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) contract negotiations.