New Lease of Life for Container Shipping at Portland

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(Image Courtesy: Oregon Live)

Containerships will resume calls to Port of Portland on the US West Coast, as Singapore-based Swire Shipping has agreed to begin a service from its container terminal. It is expected that this will revive the port where the container traffic had come to a standstill which lasted for over 18 months.

Portland Port’s former client Korean shipping operator Hanjin Shipping, ceased to call at the terminal after differences spiralled between International Longshore and Warehouse Union and port operator ICTSI. Currently, the Portland Port is not managed by ICTSI. It is being self-managed.

Swire Shipping agreed to start offering a mix of general, non-containerised cargo and container services from Terminal 6, 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, export containers to Australia/New Zealand, and import containers from Asia. The trucks are manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America, at their Swan Island plant in Portland.

In 2015, Hapag-Lloyd pulled out of the terminal following work stoppages and slowdowns. In 2016, Washington-based, Westwood Shipping also abandoned the terminal, leaving the port without a container service.

Oregon’s government provided USD 250,000 from its Strategic Reserve Fund as a financial incentive to start the new service. The deal was finalised last month during Governor Kate Brown’s trade mission to Asia, when Brown and Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland Executive Director, met with Swire executives in Hong Kong.

“The port is focused on giving our local shippers a variety of options to move their goods efficiently. Most importantly, this signals that T-6 is open for business. We very much appreciate the growing partnership we have with Swire,” said Robinhold.

Sea News, November 14