Hanjin to stay at Port of Portland
Hanjin Shipping announced Monday that it will continue calling the Port of Portland on a weekly basis.
Last fall, the Asian shipper told port officials, including terminal operator ICTSI Oregon, that it would pull its business from Portland if rising costs and productivity issues at Terminal 6, including an ongoing labor dispute, weren’t addressed.
Terminal 6, which is operated by ICTSI under a 25-year lease with the port, also houses Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd and Westwood Shipping.
“Hanjin has been a valued customer of the port for 20 years, and they have an important shipping franchise in this market.” Sam Ruda, the port's chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that the case remains for Hanjin and all carriers to keep cargo moving through Portland’s Terminal 6.”
Last week, the ICTSI terminal closed on Tuesday after workers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union picketed the area to express solidarity with striking workers in Honduras. Representatives from ICTSI saw the move as one with more malicious intent. The terminal closed again on Wednesday due to similar union actions.
At the time, Elvis Ganda, chief executive officer of ICTSI Oregon, said the union’s decisions "appear to demonstrate its continued intent to drive Hanjin out of Portland and to close Terminal 6. The ILWU knows full well that Hanjin is currently making its decision about the continuation of its call on Oregon's only container terminal and that Hanjin is greatly concerned about the performance and productivity of the ILWU workforce and labor stability.”
To counter these disruptions, the port has instituted an incentive program that will pay carriers $20 for each container moved through Portland. According to the port, Hanjin's business directly generates $33 million paid to 657 employees each year.
“We appreciate the support, commitment and patience shown by local shippers, as well as Hanjin, to continue this important service in Portland amidst some rough waters,” said Ruda. “With this decision, we are hopeful that all parties involved will work together to continue improving the competitiveness and reputation of the container terminal.”
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