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Rail News: Intermodal

Tacoma, Portland ports note key milestones


On Sunday, the Port of Tacoma, Wash., marked the 25th anniversary of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line America Inc.) calling on the port.

The Japanese ocean carrier is the port's longest-calling international shipping line, port officials said in a press release.

When K Line first arrived in Tacoma in 1988, its ships berthed at a 37-acre terminal on the Sitcum Waterway. In 2005, the liner expanded to the 93-acre Husky Terminal on the Blair Waterway.

Both terminals tap into the North Intermodal Yard that includes an on-dock rail facility. The port is served by BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific Railroad and Tacoma Rail, which provides switching and terminal rail services.

K Line initially sent two outbound trains featuring 40-plus rail cars and carrying about 1,700 containers to the Midwest and East Coast each week. Now, containers brought in by the ocean carrier generate six 100-car trains each week, plus an additional 125 or more cars moving to and from Portland, Ore., port officials said.

Meanwhile, the Port of Portland, Ore., earlier this month marked its 2 millionth Hyundai vehicle arrival.

The Hyundai import auto terminal opened in 1990, and growing volumes of Hyundai vehicles since have helped maintain Portland as the second-largest auto import hub on the U.S. West Coast, port officials said in a press release.

In 1986, Hyundai Motor Co. first began importing cars through the port, which is served by BNSF and UP. Last year, the port logged more than 275,000 vehicles in total.

Auto Warehousing Co. now handles inbound Hyundai vehicles for logistics firm GLOVIS at a leased auto processing facility at the port. A $2.8 million expansion is under way to expand the facility's processing building by 27,000 square feet and increase annual capacity to more than 110,000 vehicles.

"This could provide added work for rail, trucking, longshoreman and Teamster workers," port officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/25/2013