Unexpected call benefits hundreds of local waterfront workers

When the gigantic car carrying ship Morning Courier prepared to cross the Columbia River Bar and pull into Terminal 6’s Berth 607 on March 26 instead of its scheduled East Coast port of call, it began a series of events that put hundreds of local waterfront workers to work.

The diversion funneled extra work hours and money to about 227 local workers broken down as follows:

  • 2 bar pilots brought the ship over the bar
  • 2 river pilots brought the ship up the river
  • 8 boat operators transported the bar and river pilots to and from the ship
  • 8 tugboat operators on 2 tugboats helped the ship into and out of its berth
  • 10 longshoremen helped the ship tie up and untie
  • 137 longshoremen offloaded the autos from the ship
  • 20-25 auto handlers loaded the cars onto rail cars
  • 20-35 railroad workers built and operated the 5-7 trains needed to haul the autos East.

The ship was loaded with 4,694 Hyundai and Kia autos, all destined for the East Coast. Because recent global demand for auto ships is outpacing the capacity of the auto ships currently deployed, the manufacturers and shipping line decided it would be better to offload all the autos in Portland and rail them to the East Coast in order to turn the vessel back to Asia faster.