Barge-Rail Effective, Draws
by Joseph R. Fonseca
Piggybacking on the success of the Upriver Container Barge-Rail Shuttle program, Northwest Container Service announced they would increase rail service from twice a month to weekly starting in April. The improvement will benefit shippers in Central and Eastern Oregon.
The Port of Portland and other stakeholders have been working to increase the frequency of rail service between Boardman, and Portland, Ore. since upriver barge service resumed in November 2015.
The Barge-Rail Shuttle Service starts in Lewiston, Idaho with containers loaded with agricultural goods.
These containers are barged every other week to the Port of Morrow and then loaded onto trains bound for Portland and continuing through to Puget Sound marine terminals. That activity in Boardman during the past five months has attracted other shippers in Central and Eastern Oregon to take advantage of growing rail operations.
The increase in rail capacity required coordination between the Port of Portland, Northwest Container Service and commitments from key shippers to make the service viable. The project is the outgrowth of the Trade and Logistics Initiative, work the Port of Portland and the State of Oregon took on with shipping companies across the state to find alternate routes to international markets.
"We appreciate the work the Port of Portland has put into the Barge-Rail Shuttle Program and soliciting commitments from shippers to secure the additional rail service that will allow our company, as well as others loading products in Eastern Oregon, to increase access to global markets," said Stuart Follen, president of SL Follen Company, exporter of hay and animal feed to Asia and the Middle East from across Oregon. "While the export community will see the immediate benefit, import companies are also interested in exploring the service as a way to reduce time and costs for their products to reach various U.S. markets."
Additional rail service helps address increased transportation costs and uncertainty for Oregon shippers resulting from the loss of direct carrier service and barge service at Terminal 6 in Portland in 2015. The rail service will also take hundreds of truck trips off the regional highway system and support more costeffective and fuel-efficient modes of transportation. While work-arounds in the absence of robust container service at Terminal 6 exist, recruitment of new transpacific service is critical to the region and is a priority for the Port of Portland. The Portland region cargo market of 336,000 TEUs per year and has the potential to support two weekly non-competing, transpacific container carriers.
Port of Portland Subsidizes Lewiston Container Service by Associated Press, Bend Bulletin, 12/5/15
Port of Portland Subsidizes Lewiston-to-Portland Container Service by Molly Harbarger, The Oregonian, 12/4/15
A Solution for Inland Farmers Struggling with Port of Portland Problems by Jacob Palmer, Oregon Business, 12/2/15
New Shipping Option Gives NW Farmers a Break by Conrad Wilson, Oregon Public Broadcasting, 12/1/15
Barge and Rail Service Helps Connect PNW Exporters to Asia by Bill Mongelluzzo, Journal of Commerce, 12/1/15
Container Shipments into the Port of Lewiston is Good News for the Economy by Suzette Reynoso, KLEW TV, 12/1/15
New Shipping Option Gives Northwest Farmers a Break by Conrad Wilson, Oregon Public Broadcasting, 12/1/15
Barge-Rail Service on Upper Columbia, Snake Rivers by Joseph R. Fonseca, Marine Link, 12/1/15
New Deal Brings Container Service Back to Lewiston by Matthew Weaver, Capital Press, 11/30/15
Shippers Still Harbor Hopes for Port of Portland Service by Mateusz Perkowski, Journal of Commerce, 11/30/15
New Barge Service Provides Much-Needed Relief for Oregon Exporters by James Cronin, Portland Business Journal, 11/30/15
Expert: Shippers Haven't Abandoned Hopes for Port of Portland -- Yet by Mateusz Perkowski, Capital Press, 11/18/15
Container Traffic to Resume at Northern Idaho Port by Associated Press, KIRO 7, 11/12/15
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