The shipping news at the Port of Portland is not good and that's troubling to exporters at Idahos only seaport, which has been struggling to recover for more than a year.
The Port of Lewiston was crippled
at the beginning of 2015 by a severe work slowdown at ports on the West Coast. In April, one of the port's largest overseas shippers—Hapag-Lloyd—pulled up anchor
at the Port of Portland (Ore.), thus halting its shipments up and down the Columbia River system. That triggered Port of Lewiston traffic to be on an indefinite hold,
meaning Idaho exporters needed to find a different route to get their dried peas, lentils and other goods to the west coast.
And now, the Lewiston Tribune reports
that the "already diminished container service at the Port of Portland is evaporating," leaving Lewiston Port Manager David Doeringsfield to confirm that it was "bad piece of news."
For now, the Tribune reports, Idaho exporters must load their commodities onto barges, ferry them to the Port Of Morrow (Ore.), then move the products to trains bound for ports near Puget Sound (Wash.), before making their way across the Pacific Ocean. According to the Tribune, the "stop-gap measures will likely be the only options for the immediate future," as Port of Lewiston officials say they don't think container traffic will resume to the Port of Portland anytime soon.