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 […]


Fair Work Australia bans Maritime Union strike

The Maritime Union of Australia has been forced to abandon a 48-hour strike due to start after the intervention of the Fair Work Commission.

Following an application by resource employers to have the industrial action stopped, the commission issued interim orders suspending action by MUA employees at vessel operator Tidewater and adjourning proceedings until next […]


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 […]


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 […]


ILWU statement: Restricting boat pickets violates free speech rights

Exploiting Taft-Hartley loopholes, the grain elevators created shell companies to try and conceal their own involvement at the spud barges. The Union believes that restricting water pickets violates free speech rights. Photo by OPB.

A U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary ruling Tuesday ordering the ILWU to cease picketing of Tidewater’s spud barges until […]


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 […]


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 […]


Floating dock at Port of Kalama to help streamline grain shipping

A tug and barge company plans to base a quarter-acre-sized floating dock at the Port of Kalama to help it move grain more efficiently to the EGT and Kalama Export Co. grain terminals on the Columbia River.

The floating dock is known as a spud barge because it is anchored in place by steel pipes […]


Coal export company promises $400M in economic impact

Plans for a coal export facility would use barges to bring coal up the Columbia River and promise $400 million in economic impact.

[The Ambre project] would bring another $300 million in economic activity once it begins operating at full capacity, delivering 8.8 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin in […]


In Iran, sanctions aim at shipping lifeline

Iran has come to rely on imports of food, autos and computer chips.

On June 30, the Danish shipping giant Maersk startled Iran’s trade officials by abruptly pulling out of the country’s three largest ports. Company officials said little about the decision, but the timing was striking: A week earlier, the Obama administration had […]


Maersk to suspend business at 3 Iranian ports due to US sanctions

Maersk Line, the world’s top container firm, said it will suspend operations at Iran’s Bandar Abbas and two other Iranian ports to comply with U.S. sanctions.

“After making a few phone calls last night, Maersk decided to do this,” Thomas Riber Knudsen, the head of Maersk Line’s Asia operations, told Reuters on Thursday.

The United […]