Steep rises in shipping costs mean higher prices for consumers

Steep rises in shipping costs mean higher prices for consumers

As the effects of the pandemic continue in global shipping, we’re seeing prices rise sharply on container goods. The result could be higher prices on familiar goods, like coffee, toys and furniture. Some goods like anchovies and olives, could be hard to come by in some places.

The cruise ship Pride of America is in Astoria today: here’s why

The cruise ship Pride of America is in Astoria today: here’s why

Yesterday a huge (927-foot-long) cruise ship sailed into the Columbia River and docked at the Port of Astoria. Since cruises don’t restart until July in the U.S., what is she doing here? Turns out she’s only here for a short stop, then on to Portland for maintenance before the season begins. But this is not your ordinary cruise ship…

Rip current claims a life on the Long Beach Peninsula

Rip current claims a life on the Long Beach Peninsula

This holiday weekend, with its gorgeous weather, drew many visitors to Pacific Northwest beaches. For one family, the weekend ended in tragedy, as a 14 year old boy was swept out to sea off Long Beach, Washington. Another life claimed by the ocean, because someone did not understand what they were up against here, despite posted warning signs, and numerous deaths annually.

The bottom line here is this: Pacific Northwest waters are not a pool, not a lake, not a placid beach in Hawaii or Florida where the water is like a bathtub and the waves are gentle. It’s cold, there are merciless currents and your chances of dying are high.

For the average visitor, these waters are not safe to swim in. But clearly, the message is not getting out to people.

USCG Coronavirus precautions

USCG Coronavirus precautions

I’ve gotten some questions from listeners about ships arriving in the Columbia River from China, and possible Coronavirus risks.

So I contacted our local USCG folks at Air Station Astoria, where the Captain of the Port for the Columbia is located. Here’s their reply:

  • The Coast Guard is supporting nationwide efforts to prevent, protect, and mitigate the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
  • Vessels carrying passengers that have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) or embarked passengers who have been in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States.
  • The Coast Guard is assessing all Advanced Notice of Arrival Reports from inbound vessels to determine if the vessel has visited a country impacted by the Novel Coronavirus within the last five ports of call.
  • The health and safety of the American people is our top priority.
  • The Coast Guard will review all Advanced Notice of Arrivals from inbound vessels to determine if a vessel has visited a country impacted by the Novel Coronavirus outbreak within its last five ports of call.
  • Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew or passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC.

We don’t usually get cruise ships here this time of year, so that caveat probably doesn’t apply to us here right now. The trip from China to here takes at least two weeks by cargo ship, so anyone who is not showing symptoms would have enough time to be visibly ill by the time they got here. Vessels areĀ  also being monitored for their last five ports of call before they get here, to assess risks.