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Savage to develop intermodal rail terminal in Pocatello

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POCATELLO — Idaho’s first intermodal railway terminal will be constructed in Pocatello, aimed at improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness of freight transportation in and out of the state.

Savage, a Utah-based global supply chain company, announced plans to develop the terminal at the Union Pacific Railroad site. The terminal is expected to be operational by mid-year, 2021.

“Idaho’s agricultural and business communities need dependable transportation to get product into global markets,” Gov. Brad Little said in a joint news release put out by Savage and Union Pacific. “Transportation infrastructure projects like this rail terminal in Pocatello can create opportunities for Idaho businesses to grow and can help ​support export prospects for more agriculture producers.”

An intermodal rail terminal is one that links multiple modes of transportation to move freight across great distances.

The terminal Savage will develop and operate in Pocatello, the Savage Railport — Southern Idaho, will be focused on transporting freight between southern Idaho and the Northwest Seaport Alliance ports in Tacoma and Seattle, Washington. This, the company said, will cut down on shipping costs while providing faster access to international markets. It will also be environmentally friendly, limiting the need for shipping trucks between the region and seaports.

“We’re excited to serve Idaho producers and shippers with intermodal export service,” Savage President and CEO Kirk Aubry said in the release. “The ability to ship containers out of Idaho directly to the Pacific Northwest by rail will open up supply chains and allow more Idaho businesses to access global markets.”

While the railway will be manned by Savage, loading and unloading freight, an agreement between the company and Union Pacific means that the transportation of the freight will be a process of the rail company.

The staffing process for the terminal has begun, Savage spokesman Jeff Hymas told, with a manager position already open. Several of the candidates in contention for the management position are local, Hymas said, with others from outside the state. Once a manager has been selected, further opening will be posted on the Savage website.

“We’re excited that Savage chose Pocatello for their intermodal facility,” Mayor Brian Blad said in the release. “With the new facility, goods from businesses across Idaho will have an easier time getting to markets overseas.”