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  • OTVI.USA
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American ShipperWarehouse

Port of Oakland commission approves $11m rail link project

The proposed rail spur to a planned temperature controlled transload and distribution facility known as Cool Port is the final piece of a plan for a refrigerated gateway to Asia for U.S. meat exports, according to the Northern California port.

   The Port of Oakland Commission has approved an $11 million rail spur to a planned temperature controlled transload and distribution facility known as Cool Port Oakland.
   It’s the final piece of a plan for a refrigerated gateway to Asia for U.S. meat exports, according to port officials.
   When complete, the spur would connect Union Pacific Railroad tracks with Cool Port, a 280,000-square-foot distribution center now under construction on 25 acres of port property. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad would also have rail access.
   When the project is completed, an estimated 27,000 TEUs of meat could be exported annually from Oakland to export markets in Asia, according to the port.
   “The concept is to bring vast quantities of chilled or frozen beef and pork to Oakland via the rails,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll explained. “At Cool Port, the product would be transferred in a temperature-controlled setting from rail cars to shipping containers, then whisked across the street to outbound vessels.”
   Local operator Dreisbach Enterprises and Southern California-based port warehousing, logistics and cold storage company Lineage Logistics are building Cool Port under a lease agreement with the port. Oakland is overseeing construction of the two-mile-long rail spur, and the port will share rail costs with the developers.
   Part of the cost is also being offset by a $5 million grant, and Union Pacific is building a portion of the spur on its property.  
   Port officials say Cool Port could significantly increase shipments of beef and pork through Oakland from the Midwest. The products would be exported overseas in response to growing Asian demand for premium U.S. meat. Proximity to the docks, Oakland says, means cargo could be quickly transferred from rail to ship with minimal cost.
   The $90 million Cool Port Oakland project, which has been under construction since earlier this year, is expected to open in the third quarter of 2018. The facility’s projected to process 9,000 rail cars per year, and an additional 9,000 containers are projected to move via truck.  Total twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) volume based on this container throughput is projected at 54,000 units, the port has said.