[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: David Doeringsfeld, Port of Lewiston Manager
(Lewiston, ID) – After an 8-month hiatus, a Tidewater barge moored alongside the Port of Lewiston dock Nov. 30 and container service resumed.
Container shipments were halted abruptly in April 2015, when on-going labor issues at the Port of Portland resulted in major steamship lines terminating container exports.
This impacted pea and lentil farmers who have traditionally relied on the Lewiston to Portland river system to move containerized commodities abroad. Over the past few months they have faced higher costs and struggled to book trucks that are already busy moving many products.
“Growers should realize savings with the return of container on barge service,” said Mike Quann, a director with Maviga. The export company was the first to book outbound containers.
“Plus taking trucks and trailers off the already over congested I-5/1-90 corridor and shipping the same cargo via the efficient and environmentally friendly barge and rail service makes a lot of sense,” Quann said. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
The Port of Portland, Port of Morrow, Tidewater barge company, Northwest Container Services and the Port of Lewiston partnered to return container service. Containers loaded on Tidewater barges in Lewiston will unload at the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Ore., where they will travel by rail to the Port of Tacoma or Seattle and onward to international markets.
“Our plans are to quickly grow the service and provide this alternative for customers until container service returns to the Port of Portland,” said Port of Lewiston Vice President Jerry Klemm. “Agriculture accounts for over 5 percent of the gross regional product of North Central Idaho, so anything that helps inland growers helps us all.”
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