Mar 24, 2021Construction on SE Idaho rail terminal set to begin
Construction is set to begin on a new intermodal rail terminal in Pocatello, Idaho, designed to improve shipping speed and economics for agricultural commodities to be exported.
The Savage Railport — Southern Idaho is expected to be operational by mid-year 2021. It will containerize exports to Asia and other markets and speed up their transport to shipping ports. Savage has reached an agreement with Union Pacific to construct and operate the terminal at the UP rail yard in Pocatello.
Plans for intermodal terminal have been in the works at least since 2019, Idaho Grower Shippers Association President Shawn Boyle told Spudman. Part of the motivation for a rail hub is to cut down on the length of trips truck drivers need to make.
“We’ll have trucks transporting it to that location — so they’re making short runs — and then rail heading east or to the west coast to be exported by ship,” Boyle said in 2019.
“Idaho’s agricultural and business communities need dependable transportation to get product into global markets,” said Idaho Gov. Brad Little through a press release. “Transportation infrastructure projects like this rail terminal in Pocatello can create opportunities for Idaho businesses to grow and can help support export prospects for more agriculture producers.”
“We’re excited to serve Idaho producers and shippers with intermodal export service,” said Kirk Aubry, Savage President and CEO. “The ability to ship containers out of Idaho directly to the Pacific Northwest by rail will open up supply chains and allow more Idaho businesses to access global markets.”
Savage teams will place loaded containers onto railcars at the Pocatello terminal that will be transported by Union Pacific to the Northwest Seaport Alliance ports in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Utilizing a direct rail connection will be more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly than trucking products across multiple states.
“This new business is uniquely focused on Idaho shippers’ needs and the global economic impact Pacific Northwest exports have around the world,” said Kari Kirchhoefer, Union Pacific Vice President – Marketing and Sales Premium. “Union Pacific’s unique collaboration with Savage uses intermodal containers heading to the Northwest ports. This partnership makes the most of the container’s round trip and saves truck drayage costs for Idaho shippers by providing a direct rail option.”
Top photo: Savage