The Port of Vancouver and the state of North Dakota signed an agreement Wednesday that would help boost grain shipments.
The agreement allows the Port of Vancouver to provide rail service for North Dakota crops.
Abbi Russell, a spokesperson for the Port, said full trains are heading east, carrying supplies for North Dakota’s booming energy industry. But when the trains head back west, there are often empty rail cars.
“We want to lease these cars as they head east,” Russell said. “When they get there they offload the energy industry shipment and then they’re able to pick up the agricultural products … and come back with a full train.”
Russell said some Midwestern farmers are having a hard time getting their crops to market.
“There’s a lot of construction on the national rail network,” she said. “There’s a lot of continued demand for the capacity on the rail network, and so that’s creating some back logs in grain shipments.”
Russell said grain could start arriving at the Port by mid-September.