GSC announces acquisition of Pacific Northwest Transloader Macmillan-Piper

GSC, a nationwide provider of 3PL services, is acquiring MacMillan-Piper, one of the largest trans loaders in the Pacific Northwest, David Arsenault, President, GSC told AJOT.

GSC believes the acquisition creates an ideal new network of terminals, yards and chassis strategically located within two miles of both the Seattle and Tacoma ports.

GSC bolsters its portfolio with a network of proprietary rail transload facilities, additional warehousing capacity, and expanded transloading capabilities with expertise in agricultural, paper, lumber, steel, dry bulk commodities and more.”

David Arsenault, President, GSC

In an announcement, Scott Taylor, CEO and Chairman of the Board, GSC said: “We’re excited to grow our footprint in the Pacific Northwest so we can offer our ‘gold star service’ to an even larger client base. MacMillan-Piper is a powerhouse in the Pacific Northwest,”

In the interview with AJOT, David Arsenault, President, GSC said that the acquisition adds: “Five facilities, three in Tacoma, two in Seattle, over 380,000 square feet of warehouse capacity for transloading. This will become a wholly owned subsidiary of GSC Logistics. And the previous owner, Mark Miller, will remain the president of MacMillan because it is … such a tremendous brand name recognition up there. Four of the five facilities are rail served.”

GSC Reorganization

Arsenault explained that: “We've restructured the company legally with GSC Enterprises as the new parent company. And for distribution, GSC Logistics is now our distribution division of which MacMillan Piper will be a wholly owned subsidiary. And then for transportation, we have GSC National, our brokerage division and GSC Transport, our motor carrier division … So GSC is now adding another layer of service capabilities for the Pacific Northwest. We already had drayage, we already had yard capacity, and we already had chassis, but this now completes the fourth pillar, which is transloading options. And with these facilities, they're all located within two miles of any of the marine terminals in the Port of Seattle, or two miles from any of the marine terminals in the Port of Tacoma.”

Macmillan-Piper Transloading Capabilities

Arsenault noted that: “MacMillan-Piper, are more export centric where GSC has been a little bit more import and retail centric. So, there's, there's a great synergy … in the Pacific Northwest.”

Arsenault also noted other strengths of MacMillan-Piper: “The company has got some very unique handling car capabilities … since they are rail served, they're able to transload from box cars or hopper cars where they're taking dry bulk cargo, for example, and transloading it from a rail hopper car through a conveyor system and then loading it into ocean containers for export. But a lot of other special handling characteristics with everything from logs, lumber, plywood, refrigerated products, out of gage products, and a fleet of equipment … geared for just about handling any type of cargo that moves through there with quad axles, tri axles, etc. “

The result is: “Let's say we've got grain moving from the Midwest. It moves out in rail cars, rail hopper cars, which we, we have 80 rail spots that we can accommodate rail cars at these new facilities. And it essentially arrives right to our facility. We, we are tracking it all the way across the country, scheduling it into our facilities, then emptying the rail cars and transloading them straight through a conveyor system into ocean going containers that we then dray to the port for export.”

Improving West Coast Ports Outlook

Arsenault was asked about the recent diversion of container business to East and Gulf Coast ports that West Coast ports have suffered as a result of uncertainties during the recently completed ILWU-PMA negotiations and its implications to the Seattle and Tacoma ports: “In all of our contacts and communications with clients we’re already seeing it even with our own network up in the Pacific Northwest, we're seeing volumes starting to return back to the West Coast. Now, some of that has been … because there's been some diversion of cargo because labor disruptions from longshoremen in Canada where we've seen some ships from Vancouver diverted down to Seattle and Tacoma since the beginning of July. I think there was about a 30 to 35% reduction in what the Northwest Seaport Alliance … handled as a result of the West Coast labor uncertainty … Now that there is an agreement between the ILWU and the PMA, I think there is a reset that's taking place. And we are … bullish on where we see the Pacific Northwest Gateway going … We've got faith and confidence in John Wolf (Executive Director) Northwest Seaport Alliance, as well as the entire infrastructure that's in place up in the Pacific Northwest, and it's certainly something that we're excited to be a big part of now.”

Stas Margaronis
Stas Margaronis


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