Vancouver’s Columbia River Logistics to close

Shortage of material also leads to closure of sister paper mill

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer

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The closure of a paper mill in West Linn, Ore. will also doom a Vancouver pulp transport company.

Columbia River Logistics is a sister company to West Linn Paper Mill, which announced Monday it will close after 128 years in business. Both companies are owned by Belgravia Investments, also based in West Linn, Ore.

Already, five people have been laid off from the 21-person staff at Columbia River Logistics’ offices, according to general manager Boris Yatskov. The rest have been asked to work until the inventory of pulp and paper products are sold.

“Everybody understands what’s happening, but they want to work,” he said, adding that employees expect to keep working for up to four months, but supplies could be liquidated sooner. It also has one facility in Las Vegas, Nev., with four employees.

The closures follow shortages of pulp for West Linn Paper Mill, according to environmental manager Penny Machinski. One supplier in Canada suffered an equipment failure and the closure of a competitor in Wisconsin put stress on other major suppliers, she said.

“I think we could have survived one of those two situations but put them together and it’s more than the facility could handle,” she said. “This came about very suddenly and we’re still trying to get things in place, plans done and get settled.”

Columbia River Logistics was established in 2004, handling shipments of pulp for companies such as Georgia Pacific and Boise Cascade, Yatskov said. Today the majority of the business is storing pulp for West Linn Paper Mill, Yatskov said.