UP, Washington port in cold chain deal

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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Union Pacific's Cold Connect (formerly Railex) site at the Port of Walla Walla, Wash. Image: Google Maps

A real estate deal has cleared the way for Union Pacific to develop a key perishables intermodal terminal in southeastern Washington state.

The Port of Walla Walla gave its approval April 3 to an agreement with UP to improve property it owns between Wallula and Burbank.

Port Commissioners in a special meeting voted unanimously to sell 38 acres of its Dodd Road industrial site to the railroad and another company for approximately $1 million, where UP will develop an intermodal facility.

The same deal also includes the sale of 22 acres on the site to shipper Northwest Wine Services.

Easements allow Union Pacific to make $15 million in road, fencing and gate improvements and relocate Port-owned tracks to make way for the hub.

The plan would expand Union Pacific’s existing cold storage facility and add truck transload capabilities, to serve its Cold Connect (formerly Railex) perishable logistics services. The carrier consolidates shipments from Wallula and Delano, Calif., at Green River, Wyo., running five times a week with CSX to Rotterdam, N.Y.

The Port envisions the project as a key link in the supply chain. “It’s going to make your job easier, in trying to get the next manufacturer here, now they can ship direct to the East Coast via containers without having to go via Portland or Seattle,” commissioner Mike Fredrickson said. “This is, really, the Inland Northwest intermodal facility, operated by the major railroad in the United States.”

Categories: Class I, Freight, Intermodal, News Tags: ,