Auto Exports Increase at Port of Grays Harbor
Washington State’s Pacific Coast port has processed and shipped more than 30,000 automobiles through October of this year, a one-third increase over all of 2010. A partnership with Pasha Automotive Service and Chrysler is resulting in increased shipments through Grays Harbor to serve the high demand in China and other Pacific Rim markets.
The steady stream of brand new Chrysler automobiles driving on board the M/V Hoegh Beijing is a sign of the times at the Port of Grays Harbor, located on Washington State’s Pacific Coast. Through October over 30,000 autos have been loaded for export aboard vessels destined for China and Pacific Rim markets. As they carefully stow each vehicle aboard the vessel, the longshore workers of Local 24 are thankful for the increased business.
The auto export activity is one component of the developing omni-terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor. Partnering with The Pasha Group, an international transportation logistics company handling all types of cargoes, Grays Harbor has emerged as a leading export port for autos, over-high and over wide equipment and other Ro Ro cargoes.
“Pasha studied the Ports of the Pacific Northwest carefully before selecting Grays Harbor,” reports Michael Pasha, General Manager of Pasha Automotive Services. “We started in 2009 with a shipment of 3,194 Kia vehicles, 4 Pasha Hawaii Transport shipments and the introduction of Siem Car Carrier’s vessel service. The growth in the last two years is very encouraging. We shipped 21,162 Chryslers in 2010 and 32,000 metric tons of Ro Ro equipment. We are on target this year to ship over 37,000 Chryslers and more than 70,000 metric tons of Ro Ro equipment. As we predicted, Grays Harbor is the right fit for new vehicles, heavy Ro Ro equipment and neo bulk. The people, transportation partners and location make Grays Harbor a very attractive place for our business now and into the future. “
What makes Grays Harbor unique is the direct rail service to the marine complex, ample uplands for auto and equipment storage and warehousing facilities for processing of the automobiles. Served by both Class 1 railroads, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific, the marine complex is positioned for growth. This combination has resulted in more than 85 new jobs for this rural Washington community, from the auto processors, to the longshore workers loading the vessels, to the pilots, tugs, rail and port operators directly involved with vessel handling.
“For Grays Harbor, our partnership with Pasha Automotive and Chrysler has created new jobs and investment on our waterfront,” reports Commission President Jack Thompson. “Our investment in rail and marine capacity is paying off for our partners and our community.”
Local job creation does not stop at the waterfront. This year Grays Harbor undertook the largest construction project in recent times with the addition of more than 37,000 feet of rail to the marine terminal complex. With the award of more than $18 million in construction contracts to the low bidder, Rognlin’s, Inc, the project has also created local construction jobs. Rognlin’s is headquartered in Aberdeen.
Founded in 1911, the Port of Grays Harbor is one of Washington State’s oldest port districts. The Port of Grays Harbor operates 4 deepwater marine terminals and hundreds of acres of marine industrial property. Only 1-½ vessel hours from open sea, Grays Harbor offers rail and highway access to markets throughout North America.