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Davisville, Rhode Island is among the top 10 regional centers for finished automobile imports in North America, with imported vehicles being distributed to dealerships throughout the northeast, and as far away as Michigan and Virginia. Additionally, the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) activated the Foreign Trade Zone in 2015 to allow for Porsches delivered to Davisville to be transported by rail to Canada. Currently, Davisville almost exclusively handles vehicle imports, but it is aggressively pursuing expansion into the export market. In 2015, 41,438 Fords and Subarus, manufactured in the Midwest, arrived by rail in Davisville for distribution to northeast dealerships, which demonstrated that the transportation network exists to support future exports of American-made cars from Davisville to Europe.
In June 2016, EDA invested $625,000 in Public Works funds to QDC to support the paving of Terminal 5 to serve the Port of Davisville. The investment will provide capacity at the Port necessary for flexible import and export of automobiles, wind turbine components, and other cargo. This investment also expands the Quonset Business Park (QBP), which is home to almost 200 companies. The Terminal 5 paving investment is an improvement to the critical infrastructure at the Port of Davisville, the only public port in Rhode Island, for roll-on and roll-off cargo and breakbulk cargo (lumber, containers, wind turbine components, and other project cargo).
In the near term, Terminal 5 will be used for new imported automobiles. Long-term, QDC is aggressively pursuing use of Terminal 5 to export American-made vehicles. The increase in terminal space will provide flexibility to accommodate different types of cargo, thereby generating additional private sector jobs across the region. This investment is projected to help create 30 jobs while also advancing the QBP, which employs more than 11,000 full- and part-time workers in a variety of industries.