By Erik Olson, May 23, 2013, Longview Daily News
Move over, Port of Vancouver. The Port of Longview is sailing on by.
For the first time in its history, the Port of Longview’s annual revenue for 2012 surpassed the income of its neighbor to the south, making Longview the third-largest port in the state and second-largest on the Columbia River, after the Port of Portland.
Last year, the Port of Longview reported $33.8 million in total revenue, a 20 percent increase from the previous year and the port’s fifth consecutive record revenue year. The increase was largely because the EGT grain terminal nearly tripled its exports in 2012, to 6.3 million metric tons, which increased vessel calls and docking fees, port officials said this week.
The port, which handles grain, logs, wind energy parts, steel and other bulk products, has diversified its cargo to help shelter itself from economic downturns. It is planning to develop its Barlow Point property to attract new clients and also evaluating the potential of vacant sites on its original property just upstream of the Lewis and Clark Bridge.
“We’re positioning ourselves to capitalize on the new opportunities we see on the horizon,” Port of Longview CEO Geir Kalhagen wrote in a written statement.
The port’s success has come at the expense of the Port of Vancouver. Last year, Vancouver’s revenue fell 12 percent, to $32.5 million, largely because of an 18.5 percent decrease in overall tonnage, Vancouver officials said. The biggest culprit was a falloff in wheat exports because of new competition both at EGT and abroad in Russia and Australia, port officials reported.
In Washington, the Port of Longview now trails only the ports of Seattle and Tacoma in annual revenue.