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REGIONAL REPORTWEST COAST NORTH AMERICA


A computer-generated image of the LNG Canada project in British Columbia.


to be confused with Vancouver, British Columbia – is located on the Columbia River, Oregon. The Canadian gateway has suffered from labour disputes stretching back to 2012. Meanwhile, the port of Portland has been


busy attracting breakbulk and project cargo to its facilities and promoting its capabilities. One development that could benefit all


the region’s ports, as well as other stakeholders, is the High, Wide, Heavy (HWH) highway corridor. It has been an idea for several years, and early in 2019 will come together into a formal programme.


Frustrations “We price every project, and we see them go to Houston,” said Laurie Nelson-Cooley, manager of business development for the port of Longview, Washington, downriver on the Columbia River from Portland and Vancouver. “That has been because of long- past issues, as well as questions of clearance.” She added: “The goal with the


[HWH]corridor is to identify the route, get support from all the states, and give manufacturers, engineering firms and forwarders the assurance that we have already done a lot of the groundwork. There is great infrastructure along the Columbia River – from ports and carriers to experienced labour – that is not being used to its full potential. The HWH corridor is a coordinated effort to remind shippers and


www.heavyliftpfi.com


forwarders that those assets and capabilities are here.” Erik Zander, director of sales for Omega


Morgan, and also chairman of the HWH corridor. “Over the last year we have proven that there is a viable route from the West Coast to the Upper Midwest USA and Western Canada,” he said. The proposed route runs along the


Columbia River, by barge, truck, or rail, as far east as the port of Morrow in Boardman, Oregon. Then, it goes by highway east to Duluth, Minnesota, the westernmost port on the Great Lakes, and north through Calgary and Edmonton to Fort McMurray, Alberta, the hub of massive oil sand projects. “We have surveyed the entire route for


24 ft (7.3 m) clearance,” said Zander. “The next milestone will be to get some kind of alignment and predictability on state permitting for [over-]dimensional cargo. Some states specify that wide or high loads can only move at night, others only during the day. Each requires different numbers of


There is great infrastructure along the Columbia River ... that is not being used to its full potential.


– Laurie Nelson-Cooley, port of Longview


pilot cars and types of police escort.” The twin objectives are to secure support


from the states for project cargo shipments, “and to create confidence, and reduce the risk and time to market for shippers, carriers and forwarders,” said Zander.


Complicated bridge move For its own part, Omega Morgan recently completed a complicated bridge move near Tacoma, Washington, that included crossing seven railroad tracks. “The BNSF railway gave us a very definite window for the move,” said Zander. His firm has also recently taken delivery of a GMK6300L crane from Manitowoc. The port of Longview, meanwhile, can


do some of its own heavy lifting.“The port owns a pair of Liebherr cranes,” said Nelson-Cooley. “One is rated for 140 tonnes, the other for 104 tonnes. They have a tandem pick rating of 175 tonnes. We also own all our reachstackers and heavy-load forklifts, so we do not have to rely on the stevedore companies.” One other differentiator is 1,200 ft


(365.8m) of double-track rail at the dockside. There is direct access to both the BNSF railway and the Union Pacific railroad without a short line. “We were one of the first West Coast


ports to handle 180 ft (58 m) wind turbine blades,” said Nelson-Cooley. “We are able to load unit trains, which


January/February 2019 67


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