Westside Freight Study

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Portland-metro Westside Freight Study

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Portland-metroís economy has long relied on export industries, serving broad domestic and international markets and bringing outside dollars into the region. Increasingly, the regionís export economy relies on the high tech and electronics industry, which accounts for over half the total value of the regionís exports. This industry is primarily located in the regionís westside and depends on a closely managed supply chain to efficiently bring products to markets that are primarily outside of the region.

The Portland Region Westside Freight Access and Logistics Analysis was commissioned by a consortium of public and private organizations to address recommendations made in the 2012 Metropolitan Export Plan. This current study provides recommendations on how to improve goods movement from the westside high tech and electronics industry to Portland International Airport and other freight connections within a reasonable time frame.

The research for this study was broken into two efforts:

  1. Interviews with a sample of high tech and electronics companies, as well as their forwarders and carriers.
  2. An analysis of industry needs relative to the current state of the transportation system.

Conclusion

The regionís ability to continue to move goods to market efficiently is compromised by the overall unreliability of the regional transportation infrastructure. The Portland Region Westside Freight Access and Logistics Analysis was commissioned to help identify improvements to the surface transportation system, travel patterns and options to improve business fluidity to ensure critical freight movement.

The challenge facing Portland-metro is determining how to implement these recommendations, so that manufacturers can efficiently move goods to market and the region remains competitive.



Key Findings

Several significant findings were made as part of the studyís research and analysis:

  • Portland International Airport (PDX) is a crucial location along the supply chain, but most high tech and electronics freight moves out of PDX by truck.
  • Supporting a strong westside high tech and electronics cluster can help leverage freight movement options for other industries.
  • Reliability of the roadway system is vital to high tech and electronics goods movement.
  • The westside high tech and electronics industry is heavily dependent on Cornelius Pass Road from the Washington County line to U.S. Highway 30, a rural road with known deficiencies.

Recommendations

The study recommends three priority projects that would immediately benefit westside high tech and electronics industry freight movement:

  • Enhanced traveler information.
  • A U.S. Highway 26 truck ramp bypass.
  • Enhanced freeway incident response.