In the face of robust intermodal freight demand, the Port of Tacoma in Washington state has announced its top goal is to be the most efficient and reliable intermodal gateway in North America. That means adding capacity to its rail system, the Port said.
Just a year ago, the Port projected rail traffic would double by 2009, but by the end of 2005, said Jeannie Beckett, Tacoma’s senior director for intermodal transportation, those predictions appeared conservative.
“So the most important thing we can do is build upon our ‘three pillars’ for intermodal success – reliability, velocity and density of destination,” Beckett said. “Increasing the efficiency of intermodal cargo movement is the most cost-effective way to increase capacity with the existing rail infrastructure.”
Laying more rail is also an important component of the port’s plans, added Robert Collins, Tacoma’s director of intermodal services. Between 2005 and 2012, the Port plans to build or expand rail capacity at every location touched by intermodal transportation.