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What is the Port of Montana?

MCBDP Infrastructure

At Montana Connections Business Development Park, we’re lucky enough to house the Port of Montana within our borders. The Port has helped business across a diverse sector of industries flourish for the past 30 years.

But what exactly is the Port of Montana? Glad you asked.

Simply put, it’s a full-service transload, warehouse and distribution facility. Let’s break that down even further:


The Port is classified as a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Premier Transloader and Union Pacific NetEx-certified Transload Facility. The Port earned the distinction by investing in modern infrastructure, by offering plentiful indoor and outdoor storage and by having the equipment to ease all your transload needs.

Such equipment includes a Piggy-Packer with capabilities to lift up to 86,000 pounds, a rail loading ramp, and scales for both trucks and rail. (Check out a list of all the on-site support the Port offers here.)

With experience transferring products from lumber to liquid magnesium, the Port is able to assist your company — no matter your commodity — with transfer of freight effectively and securely.


A yellow distribution train runs on tracks through a snowy, mountainous landscape
Photo courtesy of Montana Standard

The Port is served by both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroads, allowing for easy distribution both east-west and north-south. The Port offers direct transfer between rail and truck (with a conveyor belt system for bulk transfer), scheduling and shipment coordination as well as storage and inventory control. Their distribution services are uniquely tailored to both the industry and company.

These customized distribution plans work great for a wide-variety of industries, including agriculture, fuel, petroleum, ore, fertilizer and auto, among others.


The Port is home to 124,00 square feet of indoor storage — an estimated 250-rail car storage spaces, five docking areas, and two certified scales.

The indoor storage is well-lit and secured with 24/7 video camera monitoring, while the outdoor storage is paved and open for bulk, liquid and gas handling. The latter has a forklift capacity of up to 46,000 pounds and a Piggy-Packer lift capacity to 86,000 pounds.

All Port customers are guaranteed the flexibility to consolidate or separate shipments for premium distribution.

Moreover, as we’ve discussed on this blog before, the Port of Montana is considered a Foreign Trade Zone. Essentially, an FTZ is a secure site located within the United States physically, but outside of U.S. customs territory. Which means that your company will not have duties assessed until after the product leaves the Zone.

The combination of the Port’s FTZ status, access to both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroads and its transload, distribution, warehouse and storage capabilities makes doing business in Butte just the smart thing to do.

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