Container Traffic to Resume
by Associated Press
LEWISTON, Idaho -- Officials say container traffic at the Port of Lewiston in northern Idaho will resume after being suspended for nearly six months.
The Lewiston Tribune reports that port officials announced Wednesday that the Northwest Container Services and transport company Tidewater will begin using a new route in December.
In April, container traffic came to a halt after shipper Hapag-Lloyd stopped calling on the Port of Portland because of a lack of overseas steamships.
The new route will go by barge to the Port of Morrow in eastern Oregon. Container will then shift to rail to travel to western Washington, which will allow exports to be transferred to ocean-going ships just like they would have been had they gone through the Port of Portland.
"Just having another option is going to be tremendously helpful," said ort of Lewiston Manager David Doeringsfeld. "There aren't enough trucks to get product to the Puget Sound in a timely manner."
The port -- which is Idaho's only seaport -- mostly handles dried peas and lentils.
The alternative journey will start off small, with only 18 to 20 containers making trips every other week. The former route saw 80 to 100 containers being placed on barges four times a month.
Eventually, the new route is expected to move the same amount of containers as when products moved through Portland, Doeringsfeld said. However, officials aren't giving up hope on being able to go through Portland sometime in the future. But those talks are currently focused on the relationship between union labor and management, as well the volume of containers going down the river.
"(This) keeps cargo on the river," Doeringsfeld said. "It's a stop-gap measure."
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