Lewiston Port Reboundingby Associated Press
Capital Press, April 14, 2006
LEWISTON, Idaho - When the Port of Portland stopped making direct shipments to Japan in 2005, it meant a slow year for Potlatch Corp., a forest-products company based in Spokane, Wash.
And that meant a slow year for the Port of Lewiston.
But business at the port has been rebounding lately, as Potlatch finds new shippers to bring its paperboard to customers in China, Taiwan and the Mediterranean, said company spokesman Michael D. Sullivan.
Japan had been the company's biggest customer, and Potlatch is the Port of Lewiston's biggest customer. So when shipments to Japan stopped, Lewiston shipped only 5,700 containers in 2005, less than one-third of its 2002 volume.
Lewiston is located on the Snake River and is the western United States' farthest inland port. It's heavily dependent on Portland, which controls business on the Snake and Columbia rivers.
"Our bookings look really strong for this time of year over what they've been in the last couple years," port manager David Doeringsfeld told the Lewiston Tribune.
Last year Doeringsfeld traveled to Portland three times in an attempt to establish and recruit new shippers and expand Lewiston's reach.
"We're beginning to see the fruits of those efforts," Doeringsfeld said.
Paperboard is the primary product shipped by Potlatch on the Snake and Columbia rivers.
Doeringsfeld said the introduction of Zim American Integrated Shipping Services Co. to Portland will open up services to Greece, Turkey, Romania, Israel, Sri Lanka and Singapore.
Service at the Port of Portland is improving, although so far there's no discussion of direct service to Japan, Doeringsfeld said.
Lewiston shipments will also go directly to China and Korea.
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