Grain Elevator Contract Dispute Could Affect Columbia, Snake Traffic

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One of the gatekeepers of the Columbia and Snake rivers reminded Idaho businesses this week that many of the containers floating toward north-central Idaho are empty because the Port of Lewiston has few imports. Instead, businesses producing grains, lentils and paper products from Clearwater Paper need the containers to export their products to Pacific Rim nations.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Sam Ruda, chief commercial officer at the Port of Portland, was in Lewiston to brief exporters on a potential labor dispute as a Sept. 30 expiration date nears on a contract with union workers who handle bulk grain elevators in the Pacific Northwest.

Ruda told business owners that the Port of Portland is seeing greater frequency of container lines coming and going to Japan, Korea and north China.

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