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Rail News: Intermodal

Tacoma, port team up to pump up Chinese export volume


The city and port of Tacoma, Wash., are about to kick off an 18-month initiative aimed at increasing export traffic to China and attracting foreign investment in the Tacoma-Pierce County region — a promising development for the port's intermodal volume.

On Friday, the parties will launch the Fuzhou Pilot Project, which is named after a Chinese port city. Tacoma and Fuzhou have been sister cities since October 1994.

A city/port steering committee has named Tim Wen the project's contract trade representative in Fuzhou and Michael Fowler, contract project consultant in Tacoma. Wen previously was treasurer for the American Chamber of Commerce in south China, and has import/export marketing and foreign investment experience; Fowler was a trade consultant for U.S. business activities with Japanese and Chinese firms, and served a stint senior editor of Business Tokyo magazine.

"China is now Tacoma's largest trading partner by both volume and dollar value, and Fuzhou is a key gateway to this market," said Port Commissioner Connie Bacon in a prepared statement.

The port's four dockside intermodal yards are served by BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad. Tacoma Rail provides switching and terminal rail services at the port.