Port of Portland Faces Operations Disruption Due to Labor Dispute

A dispute between labor and the private third-party operator of the Port of Portland’s container terminal needs to be resolved in federal court before  service is restored in Oregon.

Resolution of the litigation will establish what the ground rules are for the two sides, said Sebastian Degens, General Manager of the port’s marine and terminal business development. Between the court case and other challenges in the container industry, the earliest container vessels will be back in Portland is in 12 to 18 months.

ICTSI, the company contracted with the Port of Portland to handle its container operations, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union declined to comment for this story. Their conflict has been blamed for the withdrawal of container carriers who used to make regular calls at the Port of Portland in the first half of 2015.

Since that withdrawal, processors of dried peas and lentils have diverted their products from barges that traveled from Lewiston to Portland to more expensive forms of transportation in order to move the legumes to the Puget Sound and onto ocean-going ships. Some shipments travel by truck. Others are barged from Lewiston to Boardman, Oregon, and then make the final leg of the journey by train.

The source: Transport Topics