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Water-borne commerce of Grays Harbor (inner portion), Wash., 1927-36
(Quantities expressed in short tons)
Summary of water-borne commerce of Grays Harbor, Wash., 1927–36
4, 512, 957
6, 376, 868 6, 182, 642 5, 697, 029 3, 464, 035 2, 477, 302 1, 184, 756 1, 647, 912 1,553, 499 1, 649, 092 2, 215, 214
7, 200, 503 6,988, 567 6, 516, 664 3,934, 875 2,888, 703 1, 364, 451 1, 910, 266 1, 873,983 1, 909, 776 2, 485, 421
Water-borne commerce of Grays Harbor (bar entrance), Wash., 1987-36
Animals and animal products:
1, 730, 566
4, 614, 403
4, 623, 860
1, 491, 792
23, 900, 821
32, 448, 349
AVERAGE ANNUAL COMMERCE OF GRAYS HARBOR, WASH.,1927-1936
(QUANTITIES EXPRESSED IN SHORT TONS)
TOTAL – 3,707,221
SUGAR RAILS ALL OTHER
Summary of water-borne commerce of Grays Harbor, Wash., 1937
Class of traffic
and bar entrance
Grays Harbor (inner portion) and Chehalis
417 274, 590 214, 968 511, 731
1, 892, 105
The history of Grays Harbor is the history of the lumber industry, its prominence as a port being almost entirely due to the close proximity of large forests, and the shipment of the products of these forests to world markets. The character of the principal resource of the territory makes it only natural that the principal industry should be the production of lumber and kindred commodities. Surveys of the forests tributary to the port estimate the amount of timber as running over 40 billion feet board measure. With the large reserves of raw material available to industries located in or adjacent to the port, there is every reason to predict that Grays Harbor will maintain its place as one of the largest if not the largest shipping port in the United States. In addition to the production of dimension lumber there are numerous plants located at the port, turning out such items as millwork, piano and airplane parts, doors, wood pulp and paper, veneer and plywood, spars, and many other articles.
A study of the water-borne commercial statistics of Grays Harbor will show the extent and development of the lumber industry. In 1921 the foreign and domestic shipments of this commodity through the port amounted to 638,828 short tons. Each year tonnages increased until in 1926 shipments reached a total of 2,549,454 tons. From that year on shipments declined, reaching a low during 1932 when only 357,011 tons of lumber and lumber products left the port. This tonnage amounted to about 14 percent of that of the year 1926. Since 1932 shipments have increased, reaching 689,399 tons in 1936, which is slightly over 27 percent of the 1926 shipments.
In the export trade logs, lumber, millwork, plywood, and other wood products accounted for approximately 98 percent of the total during the years 1927–36, while these same commodities accounted for over 99 percent of the shipments coastwise. In the year 1936 the port handled 21 percent of the total water-borne shipments of lumber made from all Washington State ports.
During the past decade there has been a marked increase in the receipts of sulphur, alum, and other chemicals, due to the operations of pulp and paper mills in and adjacent to the port. Shipments of pulp and paper have also increased as a result of the operations of this industry. Having unlimited supplies of pulpwood and water, these mills will no doubt increase their output, thereby contributing materially to the development of the port and the growth of its waterborne commerce.
There were 404 vessels, operated by 54 lines, which cleared the port during 1936. Of these 20 were engaged in foreign trade, handling cargoes to the Orient, Europe, Australia, and South America. This was the largest number of vessels which cleared Grays Harbor since 1931. Of the 404 vessels clearing, 338 of them handled lumber cargoes. Twenty-two lines calling at the port were engaged in coastwise trade, with 12 others making calls in intracoastal traffic.
The docks of the port of Grays Harbor terminal and the various privately-owned wharves are sufficient for the present needs of the commerce of the port. Most of these facilities have direct connections with the Union Pacific, Northern Pacific, or the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific railroads, all of which serve the port and its tributary territory.
In addition to the terminal facilities provided on the Chehalis River, the port of Garys Harbor has a smaller development on the bay known as the Westport dock. This dock is some miles west of the main port development, near the entrance to the bay, but is located in quiet water where the fishing fleet, icing, and buying barges may lay in without danger. While this facility is primarily for the use of small boats engaged in the seafood trade, the dock may be utilized for handling other classes of cargo.
Although transcontinental import and export rates have been extended to include Grays Harbor, there has been very little accomplished in the development of through import and export business. During the 10-year period the imports constituted only 0.02 percent and exports 12.45 percent of the total traffic of the port. Practically all of the import and export commodities were consumed and originated at the port and its immediate territory. The territory served is limited and the larger Pacific coast and Puget Sound ports, with more frequent vessel service and more adequate handling facilities, have already taken over most of the existing trade in imports and exports, so far as general cargoes are concerned. However, with transcontinental rail tariffs now in effect and the ocean freight rates on a parity at all Pacific coast ports, Grays Harbor is in a position to compete for foreign business and should be able to build up a substantial tonnage of general cargo.
At the present time most of the traffic is out-bound, being handled almost exclusively at the wharves of the lumber companies and at the port of Grays Harbor terminal, which is located on the north bank of the Chehalis River, between Hoquiam and Aberdeen. The facilities of the port terminal are well suited to the handling of small shipments of lumber, obviating the necessity of vessels moving from one mill wharf to another to pick up small lots from each. The terminal also provides means of handling lumber received by rail for shipment by water. The terminal was designed to take care of these needs, although ample facilities exist for the accommodation of general cargo. In addition to offering a concentration point for cargo, it hastens the turn-around of vessels in port, and has facilities for both coal and fuel-oil bunkering.