BNSF to Operate New Tacoma Harbor Facility

A BNSF train in the Pacific Northwest. Image: Northwest Seaport Alliance.

BNSF Railway Co. and managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance in July agreed to a 16-acre lease that would allow the rail company to create and run a domestic intermodal facility at Lot M in the Tacoma Harbor.

The new facility is expected to bolster cargo movement between the NWSA and inland U.S. markets, giving NWSA the business advantage of being served by two mainline railroads for domestic container movement.

“Growing the NWSA’s domestic intermodal volumes has long been a goal for the Seattle and Tacoma gateway,” NWSA Co-Chair and Port of Tacoma Commissioner President Don Meyer stated. “The new facility will increase job opportunities while reducing truck emissions associated with moving cargo to inland markets.”

For BNSF, which has a domestic intermodal facility in Tukwila for the Seattle Harbor, adding rail assets to the Pacific Northwest region could possibly mean over 50,000 container lifts in the coming years.

“The new Tacoma South facility builds upon our joint initiative with J.B. Hunt to substantially improve capacity in the intermodal marketplace while also meeting the expanding needs of our customers,” BNSF Group Vice President of Consumer Products Tom Williams said. “Our collaboration with the NWSA will help support greater warehousing and distribution needs in the fast-growing greater Seattle area.”

By Karen Robes Meeks