A welcome problem at port: Lots of business

Full Olympia warehouse means it will spend $140,000 to find how it can maximize space

rboone@theolympian.comDecember 29, 2012 

Increased activity at the Port of Olympia’s marine terminal has produced both a good and bad problem: the good news is that the marine terminal is flush with exports and imports; the bad news is that the 60-acre terminal is running out of room and needs to maximize its space for new cargo.

That was the message delivered this month to the port commission, which did not take action on the presentation, by marine terminal director Jim Amador.

And most of that presentation, delivered Dec. 10, was positive.

Logs are stacked up, ready to be exported to Japan, China and sometimes South Korea; imports are on the rise, including bags of ceramic proppants, destined for oil-exploration work in the upper Midwest. Another recent import is steel pipe and coil, ready to be delivered to various Puget Sound destinations.

But the 76,000-square-foot marine terminal warehouse has been full since August — filled with bagged ceramic proppants – and some are now stored outdoors under tarps, Amador said.

“We need space,” he said.

The result is that the port is set to explore ways it can maximize its marine terminal space.

As part of the effort, the port will spend $140,000 — approved as part of its 2013 budget — to do an analysis on maximizing its space, finance director Jeff Smith said.

The focus is on the south end of the marine terminal, Amador added.

Here are some possible results:

 • The port builds a new warehouse on the marine terminal.

 • The port adds to its existing warehouse.

 • The port relocates buildings at the south end of the terminal to the perimeter of the terminal to create more space.

 • The port stores more cargoes outdoors, but quickens delivery times.

 • The port loads more cargoes in boxcars.

 • The port loads cargoes onto trucks, which then takes them to another warehouse.

All of the activity at the marine terminal is a good problem for the port to have, port commissioner Jeff Davis said.

The next step is not only to maximize space at the terminal but also to “maximize the number of jobs we can create at the marine terminal,” he said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com theolympian.com/bizblog

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service