During its 100 years in operation, the Port of Olympia has seen many different cargoes move across its docks. From forest products to shipping containers to livestock, the port has handled a wide variety of breakbulk and project cargo. Despite the ups and downs of the market over time, forest products have remained a staple at Olympia’s seaport. In fact, in recent years, forest products have been the majority of the cargo moving through Olympia - that is, until late 2021.

Nate Burgher Photography, 2022
Nate Burgher Photography, 2022

When most ports across the nation were backlogged with containerized freight, the Port of Olympia offered a solution to customers who were looking for different opportunities to move their goods. Customers began rethinking the way they shipped their cargo by taking it from container to breakbulk. By offering customers an alternative route for fulfilling their needs, the port began to see demand for diverse cargoes.

Different and unique cargoes require special attention, close collaboration and communication, and enough assets and resources to ensure that they are handled safely and efficiently. The Port of Olympia prides itself on handling challenging and unique cargoes and has a long record of success.

Over the last six months, Olympia has handled many new imports, including jasmine rice, steel pipe, coils and modules. Exports have included hay and repeat cargoes, like dairy cattle and forest products.

With a unique partnership that has proven to benefit shippers, the Port and ILWU Local 47 approach each customer and cargo as a team. The individuals involved in moving the cargo are active in pricing and coordinating cargo movements, guaranteeing that the customer is the priority. This approach has given Port of Olympia a reputation for productivity and trust.