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NEWS BULLETIN
Friday, July 25, 2014

Vancouver freight access project
listed among Washington's best

Trade between NAFTA partners
climbs during month of May

US rail freight traffic
rises during week

Refloated COSTA CONCORDIA wreck
heading to dismantling site in Genoa

Study shows possible rail traffic jump
for proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal

Vancouver freight access project
listed among Washington's best

VANCOUVER, USA — The Port of Vancouver USA’s West Vancouver Freight Access Project (WVFA) has been recognized by the Vancouver Business Journal as one of Southwest Washington’s top projects for 2013-2014. The WVFA is a multi-phase, $275 million rail mobility and economic development project. A recently completed element of the project, the Gateway Avenue Overpass, was one of more than a dozen commercial, public works and residential projects recognized at the VBJ’s annual Top Projects Awards ceremony on July 23. The port worked with 45 businesses throughout the two-year-long, $15.9 million Gateway Overpass project. These businesses are part of a larger group of 167 contractors and consultants who have worked on the WVFA project to date. The Port of Vancouver is constructing the WVFA in phases as funds become available. The Gateway Avenue Overpass, a bridge taking vehicular traffic up and over two sets of railroad tracks just south of the port’s busy main gate, was one project in the larger “corridor phase.”

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Refloated COSTA CONCORDIA wreck
heading to dismantling site in Genoa

HOUSTON — Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary TITAN Salvage and partner Micoperi have confirmed that the COSTA CONCORDIA – the Concordia-class cruise ship that wrecked along shores of Giglio Island, Italy, in January 2012 – has been refloated and has begun its final voyage to an assigned berth in Port of Genoa Voltri, Italy, some 200 miles away. Currently moving at an average speed of two knots, the tow of the disabled cruise ship is being made by a convoy comprised of at least 10 other vessels. There are two tugs, with a combined 24,000 horsepower and 275 tons of bollard pull, at the ship’s bow towing the hull. Another two auxiliary tugs are positioned aft. The other vessels in the convoy, including a pontoon with a 200-tonne crane, are carrying personnel and equipment. A team of marine biologists are present during the tow and the convoy is being preceded by a specialized marine mammals-watching vessel. The convoy is anticipated to arrive in Genoa tomorrow, about mid-day pending favorable weather and vessel traffic in the area. Once the tow arrives in Genoa the T-M salvage team will assist with the transfer of the vessel to the Genoa consortium that will perform the dismantling.

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Trade between NAFTA partners
climbs during month of May

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S.-NAFTA trade totaled $103.9 billion in May 2014 as four of five transportation modes – vessel, pipeline, rail, and trucks – carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade than in May 2013, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The value of May 2014 trade was 5.4 percent more than in May 2013. U.S.-NAFTA trade has increased from the same month of the previous year for four consecutive months and in 10 of the last 11 months, interrupted by a 0.2 percent decrease in January. The January decline reflected the severe weather in the northern states and along the U.S.-Canada border. In May, commodities moving by pipeline grew in value by the most of any mode, 23.1 percent. Vessel freight increased 6.7 percent followed by a rail increase of 6.2 percent, a truck freight increase of 3.8 percent, and an air decrease of 7.9 percent. The increase in the value of freight carried by pipelines reflects both a rise in the volume and prices for oil and other petroleum products, the primary commodity transported by pipelines. Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 59.9 percent of U.S.-NAFTA trade in May 2014, accounting for $31.8 billion of exports and $30.4 billion of imports. Rail remained the second largest mode, moving 15.2 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA trade, followed by vessel at 8.7 percent, pipeline at 7.9 percent, and air at 3.4 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.0 percent of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

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Study shows possible rail traffic jump
for proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal

SEATTLE — The Port of Seattle reports the Puget Sound Regional Council has released a study that identifies how much train traffic could increase if the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal near Bellingham were built. The study found that Everett, Auburn, Algona, Pacific and Fife would be affected by more trains servicing the proposed terminal, but also pointed out that as the local economy grows demand for more freight and passenger rail service will increase even if the proposed terminal is not built. “If our trade-dependent economy is going to generate more family wage jobs and if we’re going to keep the jobs we have now, our state and the railroads need to invest in critical rail improvements,” said Port of seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant, who represents Washington’s ports on the Puget Sound Regional Council executive board. The study also determined the impact of increased rail traffic could be mitigated if grade separations (over or underpasses) were constructed at nearly a third of the region’s 101 rail crossings. More than $100 billion in cargo passes through the region’s ports each year.

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US rail freight traffic
rises during week

WASHINGTON, DC — The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 19, 2014 with 299,256 total carloads, up 7.6 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 267,675 units, up 5.6 percent compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 566,931 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.7 percent compared with the same week last year. For the first 29 weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,308,888 carloads, up 3.6 percent compared with the same point last year, and 7,393,468 intermodal units, up six percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 29 weeks of 2014 was 15,702,356 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.7 percent from last year.

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