Forest product shipments may stimulate backhaul growth at Longview
Port of Longview officials said in a statement Monday that a MedBulk Maritime Ltd. service that handles exported forest products from the Washington port could lead to steel import shipments on the eastbound transpacific leg.
MedBulk (part of the d'Amico Group, an Italian company specializing in the transport of forest products, steel and breakbulk cargos from the West Coast of North America to the Mediterranean) began shipping wood pulp through the Port of Longview early this year.
For the port, the business means about 30,000 tons of wood pulp will be loaded onto a dozen MedBulk vessels annually. Wood pulp arrives by truck from Pope & Talbot's Halsey, Oregon pulp mill.
Last week the Cielo di Monfalcone, MedBulk's third vessel to call at the port this year, was loaded with 3,000 tons of wood pulp and departed to sail down the West Coast, through the Panama Canal to Italy for delivery to Italian paper factories, the port said.
'We see this as the beginning of a long relationship,' said Capt. Michele LaPica, a representative for MedBulk, at a ceremony held by the port to honor the new business.
Longview officials are eyeing the new business' potential to bring steel shipments through the port in the future. MedBulk ships sailing back to Longview with empty holds travel eastward across the Pacific Ocean — a route that might prove beneficial for steel shipments, the port said.