Hanjin Shipping has notified the Port of Portland and terminal operator ICTSI Oregon that it plans to withdraw direct call service at Terminal 6 in January 2014, citing escalation of costs as the as the primary driver for the decision.
Hanjin is the largest container carrier calling Portland’s Terminal 6.The service represents approximately 80 percent of container throughput at the terminal, averaging about 1,600 containers per week. Hanjin has had a presence in the community since 1994, and has contracts with many of the area’s largest shippers.
“Hanjin has been a valued customer of the Port for almost 20 years, and we continue to believe that they have a valuable container shipping franchise in this market,”said Sam Ruda, chief commercial officer for the Port of Portland.
At the present time, Hanjin plans to continue their weekly call at Terminal 6 for the duration of the calendar year. Additionally, Hanjin leadership staff is meeting with officials from the Port and ICTSI Oregon in coming weeks.
According to Hanjin, the Portland call would be removed from the Pacific Northwest Hanjin Express Service, and shipments currently being served via the Port of Portland would be rerouted through ports in the Puget Sound. During summer of 2012, when ships were diverted and customers paid for trucking to Puget Sound ports, it amounted to an additional cost of $500 to $1,000 per container in addition to increased air emissions.
Departure of Hanjin would leave Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd and Westwood Shipping as the remaining direct calling carriers at the container terminal. The change would not impact other Port business lines such as autos, minerals, grain, steel or liquid bulks.
The Port has a 25-year lease with ICTSI Oregon for the container terminal, but there are other short and long term impacts of losing direct call container service. More than 1,000 businesses depend on the Port to get their goods to and from market, and more than 2,000 workers depend on the container terminal for their livelihood.