New Container Service for Portland, Oregon - Global Trade Magazine
  November 15th, 2017 | Written by

New Container Service for Portland, Oregon

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  • The Port of Portland lost almost all of much of its container business in 2015.
  • Few containerships have called the port since Hanjin and Hapag Lloyd pulled out.
  • In February, the port took over operation of Terminal 6 from ICTSI, ending a labor dispute.

The Port of Portland, Oregon, has announced that Swire Shipping will begin container shipping service at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. The announcement follows Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s recent trade mission trip to Hong Kong, where the governor and port representatives met with Swire corporate executives.

This new shipping option, the port said, is part of a larger goal to ensure Oregon and regional shippers have access to the global marketplace.

The Port of Portland lost almost all of much of its container business in 2015 when Hanjin, the South Korean carrier that went bankrupt in 2016 and which once supplied upwards of 75 percent of the port’s container business, pulled out. Hapag Lloyd also with drew its business from Portland in 2015. Few containerships have called the port since.

Behind the debacle was a two-year labor dispute between the ILWU and ICTSI Oregon, the company hired to grow the port’s sole container terminal. In February, the port took over operation of Terminal 6 from ICTSI, paving the way for the possibility of new container services at the port.

The Port of Portland is best known for handling exports of bulk minerals and grains, and breakbulk cargoes such as steel slab, rail, coil and forest products. The port’s infrastructure includes two on-dock Class I railroads.

“The port is focused on giving our local shippers a variety of options to move their goods efficiently,” said Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland executive director. “Most importantly, this signals that T-6 is open for business.”

The new container service is “going to give more options to Oregon companies as we work to maximize Terminal 6,” said Brown.

Swire Shipping will begin offering a mix of general, non-containerized cargo and container service starting in January 2018. The ship call at Terminal 6 is likely to be monthly and includes export shipments of Western Star trucks to Australia—manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America at their Portland plant—export containers to Australia and New Zealand, and import containers from Asia.

Swire’s new shipping service is supported by a $250,000 Strategic Reserve Fund investment to help Oregon businesses get their get products to international markets.

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