|Van Wert Terminal expands local transload facility|
|Monday, June 17, 2013 10:07 PM|
BY KIRK DOUGAL
VAN WERT - A local business is expanding its Van Wert County facilities and while that is great news for the company, it might also point towards an uptick in the area economy as well.
Van Wert Terminal, located north of the Lincolnview Local schools on Hoaglin Center Road, is in the process of building a new 1.5 million-gallon liquid storage tank. The facility will be holding liquid fertilizer when it is complete and is already under contract. The company is a transload facility that generally works within a 50-mile radius of its location. Transloading is the process of moving cargo from one mode of transportation to another, in this case typically from rail-to-truck or truck-to-rail.
The new tank is in addition to the seven million-gallon storage facility already on the property. It primarily is used in vegetable service and currently holds soy bean oil. The local facility also utilizes two rail spurs on multiple points with enough room to maintain 30 rail cars. The Van Wert facility can load-in/load-out inside of a fully enclosed building and has over nine acres of ground engineered for staging large projects on its 39-acre location. One of the more recent large projects they were involved with was the wind farm construction. A number of the wind turbines, blades and tower sections were off-loaded from rail cars at Van Wert Terminal and staged for transport to the final building sites.
“We are excited and moving ahead with some projects,” said Russ Miller, terminal manager for the Van Wert Terminal. “We linked up with the Genessee and Wyoming Railroad (GWR) and are doing a 28 percent solution (liquid nitrogen), shipping it by rail and truck it out.” Miller said they also will be moving soda ash in dry bulk through the facility on its way to final use in Winchester, Ind.
Van Wert County Economic Development Director Cynthia Leis said the expansion project was an example of the area economy taking a step forward.
“In Van Wert County, it’s important we recognize and celebrate both small and large expansion projects since all expansion and job creation is the engine that drives Economic Development,” said Leis.
As good as this news is for Van Wert Terminal, it may mean just as much to the Van Wert area as well. Miller pointed out the facility was not open three years ago and now employs approximately five people. This is important to note for economy watchers because transloading is generally considered a backbone industry, much like the steel production, because they are front end providers for production and delivery. When companies in their industries see a downturn in orders or business, the economy usually shows signs of slowing within a few weeks or months. The same can be said in reverse: when they see a rise in business, it generally means good things are about to follow in the economy.
Miller pointed out that Van Wert Terminal has seen a steady rise in business contacts recently.
“We have had a ton of phone calls the past few months, whether it be big or small projects,” Miller said. “I think (the economy) is coming back. It’s slow but there are some projects that are out there in the distance and people are pricing for it now. So there is hope.”
Van Wert Terminal also has a sister facility in Morristown, Indiana, near Indianpolis.