The Port of Tacoma has seen significant benefits in its drive to compete for market share with neighbouring Canadian and Californian ports as a result of using on-dock rail, which it is using to streamline the hand-off of containers from vessels to trains, according to the Journal of Commerce.
Michael Reilly, Director of Business Development for Tacoma and now the combined Tacoma-Seattle Northwest Seaport Alliance, said the Pacific Northwest gateway is always asking, “How do we mitigate the $400 difference?”
Reilly noted that intermodal containers begin their eastbound trip from the port while the vessel is still at berth and retailers are always on the lookout for transport merchandise in a much quicker way to the market.
Tacoma is currently planning to spend US$20 million on projects to remove bottlenecks and increase the velocity of trains and has 75 miles of track in the harbour.
Reilly said the containers of the six lines in the G6 alliance are block-stowed on each vessel. Cargo would be discharged and moved immediately to the waiting intermodal train for the eastbound move.
Reilly said: “They build a stow in Asia and it is peeled off at the terminal here.”
Tacoma has 21 transloading facilities in the harbour, where merchandise is removed from 40-foot marine containers and transferred to 53-foot domestic containers.