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Castle Tire opens a Pacific Northwest Port for exporting recycled rubber material
April 1, 2021


What’s the news? Castle Tire opened its newest facility in Portland, Oregon to import and export rubber chips and nugget material.  The Port allows Castle to ship material to international customers via large dry bulk cargo vessels such as a handymax, to support Pacific Northwest customers via barge on the Columbia-Snake river system, and to support North America customers via rail.

Why is this important?
The supply chain logistics that are involved with shipping recycled rubber is a critical component to managing, processing, and recycling tires. The material is used as feedstock for rubber molding manufacturing, construction aggregate, and alternative fuel applications. Without the ability to export the material, an alarming percentage of US tires would end up in a landfill.  This new facility provides the Pacific Northwest a secure and reliable export operation.

What are the facility’s capabilities?
The facility has two docks on the river, onsite rail, and is MARSEC approved for international vessels.  Dock 1 is 448 feet with a draft that will support handysize, handymax, and panamax vessels.  The dock is equipped with a telescoping aggregate vessel loader that’s configured for rubber chips, allowing Castle to ship material in 5,500-ton increments to customers in Asia, South America, and Europe.  Dock 2 supports barges, allowing Castle to bulk ship material in 1,200-ton increments to customers that are located near the Columbia River and Snake River in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  The onsite rail is serviced by Union Pacific, allowing Castle to top load gondola cars to ship material to customers throughout North America.  The site can stage 6,000 tons of rubber chips in preparation for loading.

Additionally, the facility has a state-of-the-art grain elevator and silos that can store 49,000 tons of grain.  The grain can be unloaded via barge or bottom-dump rail cars, and then cleaned, stored, and loaded onto large vessels.

Chandos Mahon, CEO of Castle Tire
“Bulk loading rubber chips is critical to the tire recycling infrastructure on the West Coast, a capability created by our company over 10 years ago in Oregon and California.  In 2020, we processed about 50% of Oregon’s tire waste into rubber chips, bulk loaded it onto vessels, and exported internationally; that’s 42 million pounds of material that was diverted from Oregon’s landfills.  Our new facility provides long-term security for the continued effort to export material from the Pacific Northwest, provides Castle customers a reliable and economical shipping solution, and is mission critical to the State of Oregon’s recycling and landfill diversion efforts.”

About the facility:
This facility, Castle ODOCK, is located on the Willamette River and is one of the oldest private ports that’s operating in Oregon.  It was originally built by Globe Milling in 1912 as a grain elevator.  In 1921 it was leased, operated, and eventually sold to Kerr, Gifford & Company.  It is reported that by the early 1950’s, Kerr Gifford was the largest grain exporter on the West Coast.  In 1953, Kerr Gifford was sold to Cargill and a few years later the facility sold to Louis-Dreyfus.  Over the years, the facility has been renovated several times, and was most recently upgraded in 2014 with a state-of-the-art grain elevator, grain cleaning system, and dock improvements.  In 2021, Castle took over the facility and now operates it as their Pacific Northwest export terminal.

About Castle Tire:
Castle Tire is a leading service provider focused on collecting, processing, and recycling tire waste, supporting customers in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado.