Association Management


The Merchants Exchange has been heavily involved in Association Management for over 80 years, and today manages multiple organizations that are involved in maritime and/or international trade.  The Merchants Exchange is experienced in all management services from accounting support to hosting and conducting national and international association conventions held in the Portland area. Primary services offered include: full-service accounting, administration, and event planning.

The Merchants Exchange provides administrative, management and/or support services to the following maritime associations:


Clean Rivers Cooperative

Columbia River Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association

Columbia River Shippers Association

Columbia River Steamship Operators' Association

Lower Columbia Region Harbor Safety Committee

Maritime Commerce Club

Maritime Fire & Safety Association

Merchants Exchange Scholarship Fund

Pacific Northwest Grain and Feed Association

Working Waterfront Coalition



Merchants Exchange Communication Center


Answering Service

A complete 24 hours, 7 days a week, manned answering service is provided by the Merchants Exchange Communications Center. The center offers an after-hours and weekend call service with established guidelines from the customer. With its vessel tracking and AIS systems, the Communications Center monitors ship movement and can provide information to members at any time regarding their vessels on the Columbia River. Direct connection with radio patching to vessels transiting the Columbia River is also available. The answering service is available to any customer worldwide.


E-mail and Faxes

The Merchants Exchange is able to provide services for receiving or delivery worldwide on a 24 hour basis. These services can include voice calls to the Communications Center that will then transcribe the message into the correct format and forward the information on in either email or fax format as directed by the user. This also includes shore to ship and ship to shore satellite communications services. Contact us for more information on rates and features.


Radio (VHF Links)

The Merchants Exchange manages a VHF radio system designed for communication on both the Columbia River and Willamette River. The range of this radio system is from out to sea in Astoria, OR to the I-205 Bridge on the Columbia River, and from the confluence of the Willamette River to the Ross Island Bridge in Portland, OR.


We offer marine channel radio communications 24 hours a day 7 days a week including:

  • Phone patches via VHF channel 18-A
  • Monitoring channel 16 (emergency channel)
  • Channel 11, 13, 14 and 81 (these channels are not monitored)


Grant Management & Administrative Services

For the grant fiscal years 2007 Supplemental through 2011, the Merchants Exchange has gained direct experience in grant management and administration as the designated Fiduciary Agent and Direct Recipient for the Port Security Grant Program funds for the Columbia-Willamette-Snake River Port Area. The Merchants Exchange is offering our experience in grant management and administration as a service to all grant funding applicants.


The Merchants Exchange’s grant services are not limited to the Port Security Grant Program, we also have direct experience managing Department of Transportation grants. The Federal grant administrative requirements and regulations can be uniformly applied to most all Federal and State grant programs. Additional opportunities include the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) programs. Information about these and other funding opportunities can be found through the links below.


Vessel Tracking


The Merchants Exchange has been monitoring and reporting vessel activity since 1879. Today, this remains one of our most important services.

Membership in the Exchange provides access to real-time port activity and berth intelligence. Enabling informed decision making on the management of your vessel during a port call in the Columbia River.


As a member you have access to this information 24/7 in a variety of ways:


Call us:

Basic Plus level membership can call any time, day or night, to receive vessel information.


Web reports:

Reporting level membership can check the status and location of vessels using our online reports