Agricultural Transportation Coalition Holds Workshops in Portland, OR and Boise, ID to Discuss Port Issues

This has been reprinted from the Feb. 13 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

The Agricultural Transportation Coalition (AgTC) held workshops in Portland and Boise on January 29 and January 31.

Discussion focused on detention and demurrage charges, the international trade climate, and container chassis availability.

Discussion of fines to shippers centered specifically on terminals of the Northwest Seaport Alliance (formerly, the separate ports of Seattle and Tacoma), where frequent fines have negatively affected shipping demand.

Port operators treat terminals in both cities as part of a single port. Still, customs authorities can impose penalties when a shipment slated to depart a Tacoma terminal instead departs Seattle, or vice versa.

Per USDA/AMS research, the combined Seattle and Tacoma volume of agricultural imports and exports was 73.2 million metric tons (mmt), 7 percent of the U.S. total in 2017.

Port authority representatives suggested using a single port code for all terminals in these locations to avoid needless fines.