A Critical Link in the Aerospace Supply Chain
Among Washington State’s top imports and exports are airplanes and aerospace parts. In 2014, aviation-related commodities made up over $43 billion of exports through Washington.
The Port of Everett is an essential element in this supply chain, as its facilities accommodate all the oversized aerospace parts for the 747, 767, 777 and soon to be 777X airplanes, and serves as a backup for the 787 Dreamliner. These parts arrive from Japan to the Port’s deep-water shipping terminals from Japan.
This logistics chain supports more than 63,000 jobs in the region.
The aerospace parts arrive from Japan to the Port’s deep-water shipping terminals. The fuselage and other airplane components are staged and distributed based on the manufacturing needs of the program. To deliver the parts to the Everett Boeing Factory, the largest building in the world by volume, the Port of Everett loads the requested jetliner parts onto a barge, which is then transported to Mount Baker Terminal. The parts are transferred to a BNSF railroad car via an electric rail mounted gantry crane for shipment to Boeing via the steepest operating grade – 5.7 percent – in North America.
The Making of Mount Baker Terminal
In May 2008, the Port of Everett opened Mount Baker Terminal as a ‘facility of statewide significance.’ This satellite shipping facility allows the Port to streamline its aerospace cargo operations and reduce BNSF Railway shutdowns when oversized aerospace parts are transported from the Port’s shipping terminals to the nearby manufacturing plant. This $30 million project was funded, in part, by a Washington State grant.
This new facility significantly improved rail congestion in the area, as it reduced the BNSF Railway mainline closures from two hours to less than 30 minutes when transporting the oversized aerospace parts to Paine Field Airport. Made in the Puget Sound region, the rail-mounted gantry crane pictured below is electric which is good for air quality and noise abatement. It was also painted smoke blue, a color chosen by neighbors to improve the aesthetics of the terminal. Further, at the request of the city of Mukilteo, the Port sought, and received, a Quiet Zone status at the Mount Baker rail crossing. This allows the train conductors to now pass through the crossing without the requirement to blow its horn.
Aerospace = JOBS!
Everett's aerospace logistics chain supports more than 63,000 jobs in the region. The local aerospace manufacturer, The Boeing Company, employs more than 40,000 workers at its Everett site, 20,000 of which jobs are supported by the aerospace cargo handling operations at the Port of Everett.*
In addition to Boeing, Snohomish County is home to more than 170 aerospace suppliers, and is the second most trade dependent county in the nation, with 3 in 5 jobs tied to trade.
*2012 Economic Impact Report by Martin Associates
The Port of Everett & Aerospace: Fast Facts
- 24-hour deep-water access, natural deep-water port
- Specialized satellite facility to transport aerospace parts to Paine Field
- Located on the BNSF Mainline; on-dock rail
- Established and reliable logistics chain
- Highly-skilled workforce with an excellent track record of handling delicate, high-value cargoes
- Improving and enhancing facilities to meet aerospace shipping needs
- State-of-the-art cargo handling equipment
- Quick turn-around times and lack of seaport congestion
- Dedicated to environmental stewardship