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.

Union Pacific faces additional inspections after oil train derailment

June 3, 2016 oil train derailment on the Columbia River at Mosier, Oregon. Paloma Ayala photo

From an article titled ‘Mosier mayor says Union Pacific agreement a step in the right direction after oil train derailment’ at KATU News:

The investigation into June’s fiery Union Pacific oil train derailment at Mosier, Oregon found […]


Port of Vancouver celebrates completion of rail trench project

The Port of Vancouver on Thursday shined a spotlight on the completion of a $30 million project — a new rail entrance to the port dubbed the “trench” — that’s part of a larger effort to relieve congestion and to speed products to markets.

A new rail entrance to the port, the project allows trains […]


UP: West Coast woes, Panama Canal expansion won’t spur major cargo shift

The JOC reports that, ”Fritz’s comments poured cold water on industry-wide speculation that shipper frustration with months of West Coast delays could trigger a cargo shift like one following the 10-day lockout of longshore workers on that coast in 2002.” Photo shows Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Union Pacific Railroad on Thursday […]


New contract between BNSF, Tacoma Rail could boost Port of Tacoma

A new contract between the Pacific Northwest’s busiest railroad, BNSF, and Tacoma’s home-grown Tideflats shortline railroad, Tacoma Rail, could give the Port of Tacoma an additional competitive edge over rival ports.

Under the new contract, Tacoma Rail is refueling, doing minor maintenance and stocking the locomotives with supplies to allow them to get back on […]


Portland expects rebound in 2014

From Progressive Railroading:

“While tonnage was down slightly for the calendar year, the port finished 2013 with one of the highest volume months in recent history with 1.3 million tons handled in December and posted fiscal-year gains at the halfway point that bode well for the year ahead,” Port of Portland officials said in a […]


AGP expands shipping terminal at Greys Harbor

From Feed and Grain:

Cooperative’s partnership with the Port of Grays Harbor allows it to become the leading soy meal exporter on the West Coast.

On the shore of the estuarine bay of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, WA, Ag Processing Inc.’s (AGP) new port terminal elevator sits only 12 miles away from the Pacific Ocean […]


Four Railroads Face Class Action Price Fixing Lawsuit

A lawsuit brought on by eight shippers accusing the top four U.S. railroads of colluding to set fuel surcharges gained class action status recently.

The lawsuit accuses BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation of conspiring to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize prices from mid-2003 until 2008. The shippers also allege […]


Northwest rail lines provide routes for coal shipments to Asia

Northwest rail routes by Columbian newspaper

1. CHERRY POINT: The Gateway Pacific Terminal could accommodate 54 million import/export tons of bulk commodities per year, largely coal exports. Status: Whatcom County, the Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are preparing a joint environmental impact statement. Pros: Backers say it would […]


Panama Canal expansion turns into ‘money grab’

Politico, a major blog about Capitol Hill, took notice of the Panama Canal expansion and published this post this week:

The promise of a Panama Canal expansion has spurred a flurry of legislative pleas and proposals.

Too bad it’s largely hype.

Improvements completed on the canal by 2014 will allow ships twice as big to […]


ILWU Locals 13, 63, 94 work with community leaders to ‘Beat the Canal’

In this video, produced by the Jobs 1st Alliance, Southern California leaders make the case for acting with urgency to improve transportation infrastructure to keep the region from losing jobs to the Panama Canal expansion. The Canal expansion will allow larger ships to bypass the West Coast and discharge their cargo on the […]


Four Unions Reach Agreement with Rails

Major U.S. railroads have new tentative agreements with four of the 11 unions needed to avert a potential nationwide strike or lockout in December.

The agreements announced [in mid-November] follow the creation of a Presidential Emergency Board Nov. 5 and a 30-day “cooling off” period that expires Dec. 6.

President Obama created the PEB to […]


Western rails get ready to redraw intermodal map

BNSF train

The two Western rail giants, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad Co., are positioning themselves to capitalize on a potential bonanza: The conversion of millions of truckloads mostly moving west of the Mississippi to domestic intermodal service.

Omaha, Neb.-based UP estimates that approximately 11 million truckloads shipped within […]