Port of Longview reports another record year for cargo

June 27, 2014, The Daily News

2013 was another record year at the Port of Longview, though there were some down sides.

 

The port reported Friday that it handled a record amount of cargo last year, as Asian demand for logs and grain helped boost cargo volumes 18 percent.

 

“Overall, the port had another great year,” Geir-Eilif Kalhagen, chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. “We reinvest revenues right back into the port so we may continue providing strong infrastructure for our customers and economic benefits for our community.”

 

The port handled 7.4 million metric tons of cargo in 2013, compared to 6.3 million metric tons in 2012.

 

Log exports skyrocketed by 62 percent, from 531,000 metric tons in 2012 to 858,000 metric tons last year.

 

Steel imports surged 47 percent, mostly due to the United States’ drastic reduction of foreign steel import tariffs.

 

Bulk cargo continued to play a large role at the Port in 2013, with upticks in salt, calcined coke, wheat, soybeans, talc and soda ash, the port reported.

 

Nevertheless, operating revenue dipped slightly in 2013, falling from $33.8 million in 2012 to $31.7 million last year. The decline broke a streak of five consecutive record years, yet the port continued to hold its place as the third largest in Washington, as measured by operating revenue (the amount received prior to paying expenses).

 

The majority of the port’s operating revenue is derived from cargo handling fees, while 4 percent comes from property rentals. After covering operating costs, the Port’s 2013 net operating income (before depreciation) was $6.7 million.

 

The 2013 operating revenue drop is attributed to fluctuations in cargo markets. Wind energy cargo and iron oxide fines, of which the Port handled large quantities in 2012, did not come through the Port last year. The demand for wind energy cargo plummeted due to delays in approving federal wind energy subsidies. Additional cargos were affected as customers switched to sourcing cargo domestically and poor weather conditions affected crop production.

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