The Port of Quincy, in inland Grant County, could soon have an impact on cargo leaving the Port of Tacoma.

The facility has recently been receiving a lot of interest and inquiries from shippers and other stakeholders about using its intermodal terminal as a westbound inland intermodal port. Trains could be loaded at the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal with shipping containers of dry agricultural products (for example, wheat, corn, beans, and other grains). Those containers could then be railed to the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to be loaded onto container vessels bound for foreign ports.

In February, the NW Seaport Alliance provided a report to shippers and stakeholders in central Washington on the “Inland Port Impact on Growing the Agriculture Industry.” The utilization of an inland rail port, the Alliance said, could reduce the number of truck trips to Puget Sound, moving containers faster while lowering the carbon footprint of exports via rail. Containers could also be spotted closer to the shippers, and exporters would be able to ship more product due to less congested marine terminals.

Government entities are on board with the idea.

“There is a great deal of interest by the Rail Caucus in exploring the concept of an inland intermodal port or terminal that would give trucks that haul export containers of Washington State agricultural goods and other products the option of going to a less congested inland port location in central Washington,” said Rep. Matt Manweller, the Co-Chair of the Washington State House Rail Caucus.

And while there’s no official partnership being forged just yet, the Port of Quincy is certainly open to collaboration.

“We appreciate the discussion and interest in the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal as an inland rail port in which ocean containers would be received and hauled by train to Seattle and Tacoma marine ports,” said Curt Morris, the Chair of the Port of Quincy, “and we look forward to working with various shippers, decision makers and other interested parties as these discussions continue.”