Three main rivers running through the Pacific Northwest create a transportation system and economic engine like few others in the world. The Columbia River, Willamette River and the Snake River create a world class maritime network to support the livelihood of our communities, economy, recreation and quality of life.

The Port of Kalama boasts sweeping riverfront industrial acreage, deep draft river channel for import/export, and the most efficient grain elevator on the west coast.  Thanks to its place on the river—and a multitude of transportation systems—more than 30 companies, employing more than 1,000 people, call the Port of Kalama home, including a variety of new and emerging businesses.

And we owe many of our collective successes, productivity and business partnerships—old and new—to our prime location right on the beautiful Columbia River. It’s one of the most traveled working rivers in the region.

The Columbia River connects us to international markets

Thanks to our Pacific Northwest river system, regional Ports offer access to a marine network which helps connect farmers in the Midwest with bakers in China and car factories in Japan with dealerships across our region. According to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, Our Working Rivers, over 40,000 jobs in our region depend on the trade opportunities provided by our working rivers.

Without the benefits offered by these rivers, our cities would pay more for goods and our farmers would be unable to compete internationally.

Environmental bonuses

Barging on our rivers keeps over 700,000 semi-trucks off our region’s highways each year. A single barge tow can carry as much cargo as 538 semi-trucks or 140 rail cars and uses far less fuel as compared to rail and trucks. Thanks to this efficiency our air is cleaner and our highways less congested. Companies across the region depend on barging to deliver products and keep their businesses moving.

Jobs on the river

There are thousands of Northwest jobs connected to our rivers and in ensuring they continue to play an important role in all of our lives. From longshoreman to Port environmental workers to barge operators, many different companies and industries depend on our rivers.

River ports—including the Port of Kalama—serve as the economic engine for the region and support many additional jobs indirectly.

For more on the mighty river system that connects us all, visit Our Working Rivers.