Ports & Terminals

Davis keeps the Port of Portland alive

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) Executive Director, Peter Friedmann, announced that the proposed shutdown of the Port of Portland had been canceled after a grassroots campaign in support of the Port staying open led by Oregon legislator and businesswoman Shelly Davis.Friedmann was speaking at the AgTC Annual Meeting at Tacoma, Washington on May 21 st where he introduced Davis and hailed her initiative on behalf of the Port of Portland.

In an interview with AJOT, Davis said: “The industry really did show up. I think it was April 13th that they basically announced they’re shutting the doors on October 1st. There was a huge number of letters of support that flooded the governor that flooded the Port of Portland. As a result, the Port of Portland announced that they are going to stay open.”Davis who is Vice President, International Sales with Bosco Trading based in Tangent, Oregon says there is still work to do: “The governor has mandated that they need a plan from the Port by August. And the money that has been allotted to them through the legislature and through the governor's budget will not be approved until they see a plan, which I think is responsible.”Davis says it is time for private industry to step in with a plan to revive the Port of Portland: “ I truly believe that we need a private business, a third party operator in there in order to run operations, in order to bring business to Oregon. Do we have challenges? Absolutely.”

ILWU Labor Action

A labor action by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) played a major role in shutting down cargo operations at the Port, so Davis met with the leadership of the ILWU Local 8 based in Portland: “ I sat down and talked with Stewart from ILWU Local 8 and we sat down and had a beer and he specifically said: ‘We are not the ILWU of 10 years ago.’ And so here I think we are aligned on goals. We want cargo on the West Coast and in Portland. We can grow from there.”A May 17th report in Container News cited the support of Davis and the ILWU:“Gov. Kotek’s funding proposal is expected to relieve short-and longer-term cost pressures for the Port … Chief Trade and Economic Development Officer of Port of Portland, Keith Leavitt stated, “Gov. Kotek's support for investing in marine container operations is a game changer, demonstrating the state’s political will to provide ongoing support for international container service and the countless benefits it provides. The container business is bipartisan and statewide in its impact, and I want to thank Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis, who has also been instrumental in getting us to this critical point.”The report noted that the governor’s proposal also has the support of key Port partners, including the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).Davis added: “I can't pick up my grass seed fields and my hazelnut orchards and move them to Texas. Right?”

Stas Margaronis
Stas Margaronis


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