Tribune: 'Glimmer of Hope' at Port of Lewiston 

click to enlarge Columbia River
  • Columbia River
There's an element of small-scale optimism and hope for some activity at the Port of Lewiston, which has remained mostly silent since an indefinite suspension earlier this year, triggered by the a number of shipping companies deciding not to transport cargo on the Columbia River.

The Port's largest overseas shipper, Hapag-Lloyd, pulled up anchor at the Port of Portland, halting its shipments up and down the Columbia and forcing Port of Lewiston commissioners to put container traffic "on hold indefinitely."

But this morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that a "small-scale" carrier is scheduled to call on the Port of Portland in July, providing a "glimmer of hope that container operations might resume." Officials in Portalnd said they're hoping that Westwood Shipping will come back to the route. Sebastain Degens, general manager for the Port of Portland, was in Lewiston June 10 to meet with container shippers and Port of Lewiston commissioners. The Port of Portland reportedly is offering an incentive of $50 per loaded container to Westwood for every container shipped through the route.

Westwood was the smallest of three container carriers that suspended service in Portland following a protracted contract dispute with union labor.

"The relationship is improving, but it's fragile," said Degens.
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