TP Freight Lines, the primary freight carrier for the North Coast for more than 30 years, was notified it would have to move out of its Astoria terminal at Commercial Street and Marine Drive for a proposed Grocery Outlet.
But the company’s management sees a new depot at Miles Crossing as more efficient.
James Neikes, who owns numerous properties around Clatsop County, applied with the county to build a 5,000-square-foot freight depot on a plot along U.S. Highway 101 Business near North Coast Truck Parts & Equipment.
Work on the plot, previously approved for a ministorage, began over the past couple of months. TP Freight hopes to finish the new location by the end of September.
Bryan Shore, TP Freight’s vice president, said the company is grateful to be moving away from the crowded intersection.
“It’s going to be a lot less traffic and congestion than in the mouth of town,” he said. “We’ll be out of the way over there in Miles Crossing.”
TP Freight, short for Tillamook and Portland in a nod to its start hauling the region’s cheese to the metro area, has been in Astoria since 1985. The company takes freight from national carriers the “final mile” to businesses, government agencies and other larger entities along the Oregon Coast through depots in Coos Bay, Lincoln City, Tillamook and Astoria. Trucks operate after 10 p.m. to avoid traffic.
The company supplies anyone from Columbia Memorial Hospital and the Coast Guard to electric tug manufacturer Lektro and East Oregonian Publishing Co., which prints The Astorian. When the new depot in Miles Crossing came before the county Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, local business leaders let them know how important the freight carrier is to the region.
Kurt Englund, president of Englund Marine & Industrial Supply, testified that TP Freight provides competitive delivery times.
“They’re very efficient and do it at a very competitive price,” he said. “So, it’s a benefit for everybody, the community. Especially us, being a retail business, a lot of the time you have to factor that freight into your margins. So, the lower that is, it keeps it more competitive for local people.”
County commissioners unanimously approved the depot’s new location. Julia Decker, the county’s planning manager, said the depot would generate the same number of trips as two homes.
Earlier this month, the developer behind the proposed 16,000-square-foot Grocery Outlet asked the city’s Design Review Committee to continue a public hearing on the project until September. City planning staff has recommended approval.
TP Freight hasn’t been formally noticed to move out of the Astoria terminal, but expects to be soon, Shore said.
“There’s no hard feelings,” he said. “I think it is one of those things that was meant to be and is going to be a blessing.”