New Transload Facility Could Help Local Shippers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Transload Facility Could Help Local Shippers

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RICHLAND, Wash-- The Port of Benton's new transload facility was unveiled Tuesday in Richland.  It is designed to help cargo shipments better store perishable goods before they're sent off across the country.

The new facility could prove wonders for local shippers.  Say you're a farmer and you need to ship apples across the country.  You load up your truck, which then stacks the shipment on a train.  But if your train doesn't leave for a few days, you don't want your food getting spoiled.

And that is the purpose of the new facility: to keep shipments fresh by creating a giant refrigerator-like area that stores shipments before they get sent out.  Trains and trucks can come up to the building and load and unload shipments without compromising the temperature.      

 Management says this will help local farmers better manage their shipments, which can lead to bigger profits.  And they're able to save money, too, because the more cargo, the fewer trips and the fewer trips, the less fuel.

"Shipping by rail you can actually ship more cargo per mile traveled and for per gallon of fuel using rail," says Tony Lucarelli, executive vice president of Henningsen Cold Storage, the company operating the facility.  "It's one of the most efficient ways to move cargo."

Some freight cars can hold up to three truckloads or more worth of goods.  The freight uses the Tri-City and Olympia tracks, which will allow shippers to hop onto Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railroads, meaning greater range of shipments and maybe even lower costs.