The Port of Vancouver handles more than 6 million tons of cargo each year. Products such as wheat, grains, mineral and liquid bulks and automobiles arrive at the Port by ship, train, truck or barge from the mid-west and Eastern Oregon, to Asia, South America and the Middle East. The port is home to more than 50 industrial tenants.
The United States is ranked third in production of wheat, with almost 58 million tons produced in the 2012-2013 growing season, behind only China and India. Portland exported nearly 2.5 million tons of grain in 2015.
Vancouver’s United Grain, which runs the big grain elevator in Vancouver, is one of the West Coast’s largest grain exporters. It’s owned by the Mitsui Group of Japan and has a market value of $22.5 billion. United Grain recently bought Pendleton Grain Growers which ran elevators and Columbia River terminal in Eastern Oregon.
The Port of Vancouver is redeveloping a 10-acre part of its property on the Columbia River, adjoining the larger Waterfront Vancouver project, a privately funded venture. The Port owns Terminal 1, the boat dock next to the Interstate Bridge, and plans to develop their 10 acre track into a mixed-use waterfront neighborhood. It will include 100,000 square feet of office space, retail spaces, up to 180 hotel rooms, up to 250 housing units, and a public market.
The 43-foot deep river channel for ocean-going vessels extends 106 miles from the ocean to Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Shipping companies have to hire pilots and take the time to bring their vessels 100 miles up the Columbia River for relatively low container volumes, one pilot for the Columbia Bar and one for the Columbia River.
Tidewater Barge Lines handles grain, petroleum products, wood products, liquid and dry fertilizers, and all types of containerized freight. Oil goes upriver with empty grain barges.