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Comparison of intercoastal rates on principal commodities in effect as of August 1939, Apr. 18, 1940, and effective May 1, 1940—Continued
[Rates in cents per 100 pounds)
(Statement of West Coast Lumbermen's Association) NEED FOR INTERCOASTAL LUMBER SPACE OPERATING BETWEEN OREGON, WASH
INGTON, AND ATLANTIC Coast From reports of the United States Maritime Commission in 1937, the intercoastal fleet operating between Oregon and Washington and the Atlantic coast was loaded approximately 96 percent east-bound and 76 percent west-bound. Since we do not have comparative tonnage figures from the Maritime Commission from 1937 to 1939, the following are taken from the Panama Canal records. The total Atlantic coast and Gulf tonnage is combined, excluding tankers:
The intercoastal lumber volume from the west coast follows:
1, 065, 827, 000 1938
899, 637, 000 1939.
1, 086, 173, 000
The fleet in 1937 was substantially the same as in 1939, with 107 ships operating from Oregon and Washington ports. If 107 ships made an average of four round trips in 1939, an average of 2,757,334 feet board measure was carried per voyage. Since an average of 107 ships was operating nearly 100 percent full, eastbound, in 1939, the same number must now be maintained to move a similar volume in 1940.
From the table attached, it will be observed that the number of intercoastal ships actually operating from Oregon and Washington ports will be reduced from 107 in March 1939 to 80 in May 1940. It would seem apparent that, to transport in 1940 the same eastbound volume as in 1939, the 27 ships taken out of the intercoastal fleet must be replaced. Ten Pacific coastwise boats, each having approximately 40 percent of the lumber-carrying capacity of the average intercoastal vessel, have been transferred to the intercoastal service, for the period from about April through December 1940. These will replace 4, or at the most 5, of the intercoastal lumber carriers which have been withdrawn from this trade: still leaving the service short—by 22 or 23 ships of the space needed to maintain the same intercoastal lumber trade volume as in 1939.
The intercoastal east-bound lumber shipments in January 1940 were more than 15 percent over January 1939. The F. W. Dodge Corporation has forecasted a 14 percent increase in residential construction, in the 37 Eastern States, in 1940 over 1939. Recent surveys on the Atlantic coast indicate that, while building operations have been delayed by the late hard winter, the great bulk of the lumber stocks in all terminal yards on the Atlantic coast are in the ownership of retail dealers; and will move rapidly into construction as soon as frost leaves the ground.
It, therefore, seems reasonable to assume that a restoration of the complete lumber-carrying space operating in March 1939 of 107 vessels, is the minimum essential to maintain this traffic in 1940. This would require not less than 22 ships in addition to those now in service.
The attached tables show:
1. Intercoastal fleet, operating between Atlantic coast and Oregon-Washington ports, March 1939 to May 1940.
2. Intercoastal fleet; loss of vessels in dead-weight tonnage, March 1939 to May 1940.
3. Intercoastal fleet; percent of capacity used, 1937. 4. Principal commodities; intercoastal trade, 1937.
W. B. GREELEY, Secretary-Manager, West Coast Lumbermen's Association. SEATTLE, WASH., April 10, 1940. Intercoastal fleet operating between Atlantic coast and Oregon-Washington ports
REDUCTION IN FLEET MARCH 1939 TO MAY 1940
8, 700 26, 233 366, 884
trades. Charters canceled
i Three vessels added by Arrow Line.
3 Includes 4 American-Hawaiian and 6 Quaker Line vessels upon which charters are understood to have been fixed.
4 In addition, 10 Pacific coastwise boats having approximately 40 percent each of average intercoastal lumber capacity.
Intercoastal fleet operating between Atlantic coast and Oregon-Washington
1 Average 2 per month.
PERCENT OF CAPACITY USED—1937
1 Deadweight or carrying capacity used, whichever is greater. 1 Does not include Isthmian tonnage. Authority: U. S. Maritime Commission Exhibit Docket 514, Service Schedule, p. 7.
Principal commodities, intercoastal trade, 1937, not including petroleum products
From K. C. BATCHELDER, West Coast Lumbermen's Association,
The coastwise service is now so depleted that there is hardly anything left. The coastwise line is only sure service left.
INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE BOARD OF TACOMA, Inc.,
Tacoma, Wash., March 28, 1940. Mr. EVERETT SMITH, President, Tacoma Chamber of Commerce,
Tacoma Building, Tacoma, Wash. DEAR MR. SMITH: In response to your inquiry regarding the possible losses in pay roll which will result from continuance of the present condition of shortage of ship space for outgoing cargo, the results of our current survey are as follows:
Industries first to be affected by this situation are the sawmills that depend upon water shipment to reach competitive markets. One of these mills will probably have to close down within 2 weeks; another in 30 days and still another in 60 days. Another mill reports operations already curtailed with the prospects for continued operations very uncertain. A sixth mill reports “hand-to-mouth” operations depend entirely upon ability to negotiate space. Approximately 700 employees are affected in the operations listed above.
Sawmills that are largely rail shippers are affected somewhat but so far no curtailment of operations is in sight.
The door plants have shipped largely by rail as a matter of practice. While they are somewhat hampered in individual cases by this shortage of ships, they are able to divert in most cases to rail shipment.
Plywood plants likewise are as yet not badly affected, although they ship a great deal of cargo by water since their product is compact and carries a higher rate, making it possible so far to find necessary space.
The present favorable situation on the part of door and plywood plants, however, may not continue if the continued shortage of ships closes down more sawmills so that the door plants find their supply of shop lumber cut off, and resulting reduced logging operations may hamper both the door and plywood plants.
Furniture factories depend very little on water shipment, and our largest industry, the Tacoma smelter, is concerned almost entirely with incoming ore shipments which apparently are not affected. The Pacific Match Co., which ships 65 percent of its product by water, is in a
The increased costs necessitated by diversion to rail may make it impossible for this plant to continue in a competitive market and may cause loss of this industry to Tacoma since comparatively high labor costs are at the present time a serious factor in maintaining a local product in a national market.
The indirect loss of pay roll as the above situation has developed is difficult to calculate. We know, of course, that the water-front pay roll will of necessity be less, and you cannot close down a substantial portion of our larger industries without widespread effect on other employment. Very truly yours,
INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE BOARD OF TACOMA, INC.
(Executed and returned by Henry Mill & Timber Co.)
March 27, 1940. DEAR MR.
: Following_the organization of the Pacific Northwest Shippers' Emergency Council in Tacoma a week ago, there is to be a meeting held in San Francisco under the auspices of the Pacific Coast Association of Port Authorities to deal with the intercoastal and coastwise shipping problem. Representatives of industry, shippers, agricultural associations, and labor groups will be invited. The meeting will be held in early April.
In order that Tacoma's representative at that meeting will be armed with real information to back up requests that will be made to the Maritime Commission and to Congress for the allocation of tonnage to relieve the space stringency now existent, it is necessary that we have the cooperation of all shippers.
We are asking below several questions which we would like to have you answer as accurately as possible.
What is your normal requirements for space on the intercoastal and gulf routes? Answer. 1,000,000 feet per month.