With a shipment of over 2,000 dairy cows, Port of Olympia makes hay in a new market.
Late last month, the Port of Olympia loaded some 2,161 head of dairy cattle, 250 tons of bulk feed, 126 metric tons of hay pallets, and 53 pallets of wood shavings on an odd-looking ship called the Ganado Express, and sent the cows on their way. Owned by Livestock Express out of Singapore, the China-built ship and its unique cargo are bound for Vietnam.
That exercise marked the second time the port had hosted this kind of cattle run; the first came two years back. They are part of a Vietnamese government effort to battle childhood malnutrition through providing milk to all children. The cows, which come from Idaho and Washington farms, are Holstein Friesian heifers, and will be (hopefully) impregnated once they reach their destination. Forty-nine are already pregnant.
Marine terminal director Len Faucher is hopeful more cattle will follow in their hoof-steps. “We hope to be the key benefactor on the West Coast,” Faucher said, adding the port expects another such shipment to be staged in the early summer. The port hopes other countries in Asia follow Vietnam’s example of importing heifers from the US for dairy stock.
For the Port of Olympia, this welcome business comes at a time when all ports are scrambling to counter the downturn in break bulk shipping.
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