Downtown Seattle at night, with traffic on the freeway.

Bellingham port warehouse allows manufacturers to bypass Seattle congestion

April 5, 2019

Why would you locate your processing or manufacturing business in Bellingham, WA? Because food manufacturers who ship their goods to or from Canada, Alaska or beyond find that the location is hard to beat.

Northwest Washington is a logistical hotspot

A great deal of goods are shipped from, to and through Washington State every year. The total value of imports and exports in 2016 was $126.8 billion, second only to Michigan in the United States, according to a freight system plan from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Nationwide, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area is the third largest area reporting exports, according to the DOT’s plan. Washington’s well-developed freight transportation network — via road, rail, sea and air — is one reason for the state’s large shipping figures.

However, the greater Seattle area, with delays from clogged highways, frequent road closures and never-ending construction projects, can be a logistical nightmare. Seattle is actually on a list of the 10 worst cities in the U.S. for traffic tie-ups.

Consider Bellingham if you don’t want to navigate Seattle traffic

Imagine getting your products from the warehouse to the freeway in minutes instead of hours. Imagine scheduling your shipments around or into Seattle at night or on the weekends.

Bellingham Cold Storage, with locations next to Interstate 5, provides fast and easy access to trucking corridors, portside shipping, major freight rail lines and the Bellingham International Airport.

In fact, rail service from Bellingham is more direct and expeditious than from Seattle or Tacoma for cargo going east. BCS has frozen, chilled and dry warehousing adjacent to its BNSF service to support customers, including our 12 onsite leased manufacturing and value-adding facilities.

Large vessel tied up at dock.

For those moving products by sea

Bellingham offers one of just 11 deep-draft ports in Washington state capable of handling ocean-going vessels, and it’s the farthest north of them all. Bellingham’s ports, including  Bellingham Cold Storage’s private deep-water dock, is closer to Canada and more cost-effective for ships than most of the ports in Washington state. BCS’s dock also is cost-effective for Canadian imports and exports. Our private dock customers and tenants have greatly expanded their use of our portside rail service in the past two years, including cross-docking and short-hold warehousing.

Connecting the U.S. and Canada

Washington state and Canada are connected by 13 highways, four rail lines and three ferry routes, not to mention the shipping lanes in the Salish Sea. Bellingham Cold Storage’s location near the Cascade Gateway is a logistical advantage for companies shipping to or from the Lower Mainland. Bellingham is a perfect manufacturing and distribution hub for importing and exporting from the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Alaska, California, and the U.S. Midwest and East Coast. There is no need to locate in the gridlock of the Greater Seattle-Tacoma area. For traffic, small-town cost and quality of life, BCS’s prime location in Washington state is definitely worth considering.