The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Officials restrict passage on Columbia River due to wildfire, but impact should be slight

From the Columbian:

Wheat shipped to United Grain Corp., wood chips headed to the paper mill in Camas and other commodities are expected to arrive to their destinations, but the wildfires in the Columbia River Gorge may lead to some delays.

The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday enacted restrictions between the Bonneville Dam and Reed […]


Judge: Longshoremen violated court order by blocking grain barges

The men and women of the ILWU have exported America’s grain from Pacific Northwest terminals since 1934. They are currently locked out of Japanese-owned facilities in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA.

Excerpts from the Capital Press:

The ILWU has violated a court order for the second time by blocking grain shipments, according to a […]


Portland port dispute leads to residential picket in Longview

The tense, ongoing union battle at the Port of Portland spilled into Cowlitz County Thursday night when a tugboat captain’s home was picketed by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Between 30 and 60 union members carrying signs picketed a home on the 200 block of Niemi Road in rural Longview. Initially, according […]


Tidewater getting new tugboats

From the Columbian:

A keel-laying ceremony Friday afternoon at Vigor Industrial on Portland’s Swan Island marked the start of construction for the first of three new tugboats being built for Tidewater Barge Lines of Vancouver. The tugs will be the first newly built vessels for the company in nearly 30 years.

Marc Schwartz, Tidewater’s maintenance […]


Coal export investor pushes for control of Ambre Energy, its Boardman and Longview proposals

A major investor is positioning itself to take control of the Australian company trying to build coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington.

A Denver-based private equity firm, Resource Capital Funds, could eventually own as much as 55 percent of Ambre Energy, according to the terms of a deal Ambre shareholders will be asked to […]


Tidewater eyes coal barge contract for Wyoming, Montana coal

A company that plans to ship Powder River Basin coal down the Columbia River has signed a letter of intent with Tidewater Barge Lines of Vancouver, Wash., for transportation service.

Tidewater would operate the tugs and barges needed to move the coal 218 miles from the Port of Morrow at Boardman, Ore., to a terminal […]


Federal Judge Cites ILWU for Contempt of Court

Locked-out ILWU members and supporters have taken their message to the water. Union members have been locked out by Japanese corporations Marubeni and Mitsui. Photo by ILWU Local 4

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

A federal judge has found the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in civil contempt of court for ignoring an […]


Foss gains site in Everett, two tugs on Columbia

Foss Maritime made two big announcements this week. Click on the headlines to read the full articles:

Foss Maritime parent firm buys K-C site in Everett:

Kimberly-Clark Corp. has agreed to sell the site of its former waterfront mill to the Seattle-based parent company for Foss Maritime Co. Under the plan, some 250 skilled maritime […]


NLRB, Tidewater go to court over ILWU boat pickets

Excerpts from the Capital Press:

Tidewater Barge Lines, based in Vancouver, Wash., has filed a lawsuit claiming the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s picket lines violate federal labor law.

The picket lines are aimed at inducing the barge company’s employees — represented by the Inland Boatmen’s Union of the Pacific — to refuse transporting products […]


Foss Maritime to buy Everett property, move 250 Seattle jobs there

Saltchuk, the parent company of the Foss Maritime tug and barge company in Seattle, announced Wednesday it is buying a 66-acre property on the Everett waterfront, formerly Kimberly-Clark’s pulp mill and tissue plant, and will relocate about 250 skilled jobs there from Foss’ current location along Seattle’s Ship Canal.

Mark Tabbutt, chairman of Saltchuk. “We […]


Barge adrift: The facts don’t support the finger-pointing

NOTE: Yesterday, Oregonian reporter Rich Read breathlessly reported that “someone apparently intentionally set adrift a loaded grain barge on the Columbia River Friday night that was to be unloaded at a terminal that has locked out longshoremen,” and that “the fact that Barge 550 was loaded with grain destined for the locked-out elevators is also […]


Loaded grain barge set adrift at night on Columbia River, causing Coast Guard and media to point fingers

Excerpts from The Oregonian:

A Tidewater employee said ratchets used to hold the barge in place appeared to have been intentionally loosened, according to a Coast Guard news release. A longshore union spokeswoman said the union had nothing to do with it.

“Intentionally causing damage to a vessel or its cargo is a crime punishable […]


Foss says it is staying; Company commits to serving Columbia, Snake rivers

Foss keeps regional headquarters in Portland and has operations in Rainier and Astoria. It has vessels working from Astoria to beyond Portland and towing to Alaska, California and the Washington coast.

Regional news outlets reported in April that Seattle-based Foss Maritime had announced its intention to leave operations in the Columbia and Snake rivers to […]


Drought-plagued Mississippi is holding up barge traffic, sending global ripples

This Dec. 5, 2012 photo provided by The United States Coast Guard shows barges passing in tight quarters due to low water levels as they navigate the Mississippi River near St. Louis. (AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Colby Buchanan)

Excerpts from National Geographic News:

The middle Mississippi—the 200-mile (322-kilometer) stretch from St. Louis to […]


The Stockton-Oakland marine highway that is becoming less likely

From the Maritime Professional blog:

Unexpected problems bedevil the Stockton barge project

Proposed marine highway, Port of Stockton image.

Proposed as a commendable alternative to the 1600 trucks each day on the freeway between the bay and Sacramento, [the marine highway] was designed to shuttle two barges between Stockton, Oakland and Sacramento, with loading done […]