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Minot Strengthens Connections and Cultivates Opportunity with the Northwest Seaport Alliance

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Minot Strengthens Connections and Cultivates Opportunity with the Northwest Seaport Alliance

Posted: Jan 12 2024
Minot Strengthens Connections and Cultivates Opportunity with the Northwest Seaport Alliance

A North Dakota delegation traveled to Tacoma, Washington at the beginning of 2024 to provide an update on the Logistics Park of North Dakota (LPND) Intermodal Facility to The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) Managing Members at their January public meeting. 

The NWSA is a marine cargo partnership between the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma and is governed by the Managing Members, comprised of the elected commissioners of each port. North Dakota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Minot Area Chamber EDC (MACEDC) Board Chair-Elect Ryan Ackerman, and MACEDC President | CEO Brekka Kramer, along with Rail Modal Group's (RMG) President & CEO Greg Oberting and In House Counsel Monica Oberting, made the trip to provide the Managing Members a presentation on the LPND Intermodal Facility. They delivered an overview of the volumes, commodities, and users, along with updates on future plans for the facility and service.  

The LPND Intermodal Facility works in partnership with the NWSA and the BNSF Railway to provide efficient movement of containerized agriculture exports helping U.S. farmers reach international markets. It represents the first successful project under the NWSA’s Inland Rail Hub Strategic Initiative. The initiative is focused on supporting international intermodal service from non-traditional inland rail ramp locations to grow containerized agriculture exports and create opportunities for import intermodal service to these locations. The Minot facility launched October 2020. 

“We appreciate partnering with the Minot Area Chamber EDC, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Rail Modal Group to move U.S. agriculture exports through our gateway,” stated Port of Tacoma Commissioner President and The Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-Chair Kristin Ang. “The direct connection between the NWSA gateway and Minot has proven to be a great success and highlights the importance of our gateway’s Inland Rail Hub strategy. We look forward to further collaboration and increasing agricultural export opportunities in new and existing foreign markets.” 

Working closely with RMG, the facility operator, MACEDC maintains regular intermodal transportation at the LPND. No other rail facility is performing intermodal operations in North Dakota. The current service is between three and four unit-trains per month, with direct dockside service at terminals in Seattle, Washington.  

“The partnership with the NWSA, BNSF Railway, our operator RMG and leadership at all levels in North Dakota really is what allowed us to pilot and start continuous intermodal services out of North Dakota,” shared Brekka Kramer. “North Dakota commodities and products are being shipped to ports in over twenty countries and we are saving over 10 million truck miles by using rail and there is opportunity to do more. MACEDC is committed to supporting growth at the facility. To date our operator has moved 74 full unit trains out of Minot within the first three years and we are expecting increased volume in the upcoming year.” 

North Dakota Ag Commissioner Goehring provided an overview of agriculture in North Dakota and the role North Dakota plays in providing affordable, abundant, safe, and nutritious food in the world. 

“The Northwest Seaport Alliance prides itself on being a top gateway for agricultural exports and the inland rail hub in Minot plays a key role in driving increased U.S. exports to foreign markets,” stated Port of Seattle Commissioner President and The Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-Chair Hamdi Mohamed. “The Minot Area Chamber EDC, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Rail Modal Group have been exceptional partners in this endeavor and we look forward to growing our partnership in the future.” 

PHOTO: Minot delegation meets with NWSA Left to Right, Back Row: Commissioner Deanna Keller, Port of Tacoma; Commissioner Dick Marzano, Port of Tacoma; Commissioner John McCarthy, Port of Tacoma; Commissioner Fred Felleman, Port of Seattle; Ryan Ackerman, Minot Area Chamber EDC; Commissioner Don Meyer, Port of Tacoma; Steve Balaski, the NWSA; Greg Oberting, RMG; Monica Oberting, RMG; John Wolfe, the NWSA. Left to Right, Front Row: Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed, Port of Seattle; Commissioner Kristin Ang, Port of Tacoma; Commissioner Doug Goehring, ND DoA; Brekka Kramer, Minot Area Chamber EDC. 

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