Port of Coos Bay Joins the American Association of Port Authorities in Celebration of Western Hemisphere Ports Day

News and Information from 

Oregon International Port of Coos Bay

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2017

Port of Coos Bay Joins the American Association of Port Authorities in Celebration of Western Hemisphere Ports Day

April 4th, 2017 is Western Hemisphere Ports Day, celebrating the role that Ports throughout the Americas have in job creation and economic prosperity.  Led by the American Association of Port Authorities, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is proud to join hundreds of ports in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, to highlight and celebrate the value of Ports.

The Port of Coos Bay’s mission is to promote sustainable development that enhances the economy of southwest Oregon and the state.  The Port has three primary business arms that support local industry and movement of freight into and out of the region.  The Charleston Marina and Shipyard support the local commercial and recreational fishing fleets, which have a significant impact on the local economy. In 2016, commercial fish landings totaled 21,424,508 lbs, which was valued at $27,933,298.  The fishing industry also supports a number of local businesses specializing in vessel sales, fabrication and repair, and maritime supply.

The Port of Coos Bay also owns the Coos Bay rail line, which provides access to safe and reliable freight rail service for businesses from Coquille to Eugene, connecting local products with the national rail system.  The sudden closure of the line in 2007 had far reaching impacts on local businesses.  The rail customers along the line had to shift freight transportation from rail to shipping by truck to an inland trans load facility.  At that time, the rail line had been transporting approximately 7,000 rail cars per year.  Many of the shippers along the line had to reduce production, and consequently reduce jobs because of the additional cost of truck transport.  The Port stepped in to purchase the line in 2009 because it is a major economic driver for our region, and without it growth would have been stymied.  The line was reopened in 2011, and the Port continues to make investments in our rail infrastructure to ensure that the south coast has access to reliable and affordable rail transport.   

Customers who ship via the Coos Bay rail line see substantial savings in their transportation costs, averaging $2.2 million per year.  The rail line supports two positions at the Port of Coos Bay, and 15 positions at Coos Bay Rail Link.  The line currently serves 12 shipper facilities along the line, which employ approximately 750 people and generate over $100 million in annual economic activity.  Since reopening the Coos Bay rail line, shipping freight by rail has translated to over 100,000 less trucks on the road.  Reduced truck traffic lowers road congestion, reduces the impact to the highway systems, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.  On average, shipping by rail is three times more fuel efficient than shipping by truck.

The Port also provides support to the marine shipping terminals throughout the Coos Bay Harbor.  The Port is a major deep-draft coastal harbor with more than 1 million tons of cargo crossing the bar annually, making the Coos Bay harbor the busiest seaport in Oregon. It has a safe entrance bar, an experienced maritime labor force, a wide range of maritime services, and a short (15 mile) navigation channel. These factors assure that inbound and outbound cargoes move efficiently through the harbor's marine terminals to both domestic and international markets.

Ports play an instrumental role in the economies of the Western Hemisphere.  According to HIS Inc. – World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2015 totaled 3.45 billion metric tons in volume and US $3.36 trillion in value.  However, the economic worth of the cargo transported is far greater than its market value in terms of the jobs and business activity that it generates.

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is proud to join hundreds of Western Hemisphere seaports in the celebration of Ports Day.  In support of workers, farmers, employers, manufacturers and consumers everywhere, we are excited to meet the growing demands of the future.

 

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For additional media information, please contact:

Margaret Barber, External Affairs Manager, Port of Coos Bay
            Phone 541.267.3713 / E-mail: mbarber@portofcoosbay.com /