The first railcars filled with North Dakota commodities have been transported to the West Coast under a new agreement between North Dakota and the Port of Vancouver USA. The shipment arrived in the Washington state port on Nov. 3.
"AGT Food & Ingredients loaded a test shipment of 60 totes of Pride of North Dakota split green peas at North Dakota Port Services in Minot," reports Doug Goehring, N.D. commissioner of agriculture. "This is the next step in delivering on our agreement with the Port of Vancouver and helping North Dakota farmers and ranchers find new ways of accessing our Pacific Northwest trade partners."
Goehring and Port of Vancouver CEO Todd Coleman signed a memorandum of agreement in August, uniting the state and the port in a collaborative rail service program that supports both the agricultural and energy industries. The energy industry is bringing supplies east from the Pacific Northwest in boxcars. The Port of Vancouver leases the boxcars, and with the help of its logistics partners, fills the boxcars with agricultural products for the return trip to Vancouver.
Murad Al-Katib, CEO of Regina-based AGT Food & Ingredients, says the first shipment was a collaborative effort of his company, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the BNSF Railway, Port of North Dakota, North Dakota Port Services and Magnum Logistics.
"Participating in these first shipments, AGT Food & Ingredients is leading the way in pioneering new shipping lanes to move our products to the global marketplace," he says. "AGT is excited to be a part of this opportunity."
Goehring says a second ship left Minot on Oct. 22 and is expected to arrive in Vancouver this week.
"When fully implemented, this agreement will provide more marketing opportunities for our identity-preserved and specialty crop products, such as peas, lentils, dry beans and other commodities, to be transloaded and containerized," Goehring says. "It also enables North Dakota commodity handlers, especially smaller and mid-sized companies, to access rail facilities on the same basis as larger companies."
Source: ND Department of Agriculture