Congestion at a Port of Portland's Terminal 6 caused the operator ICTSI to take the unusual step on Tuesday of allowing truckers to only deliver empty containers in the morning and pick up import containers in the afternoon.
"They wanted to avoid congestion outside the terminal. They had two container vessels and an auto vessel and had operational issues related to congestion, and they wanted to avoid having trucks backed up outside the terminal down Marine Drive," said Josh Thomas, a spokesman for the Port of Portland. "They wanted to avoid congestion outside the terminal and it appears to have worked. There have been no backups or disruptions."
He stressed this was a one-day event.
A report in the Portland Oregonian said "truckers hauling full containers for export from as far as Idaho, and who didn’t get word in time, will be turned away."
Thomas said the congestion comes at a time when liner carrier Hanjin is deciding whether to continue its service to Portland.
"They are still calling here and taking bookings on their future vessels, so that bodes well," he said.
Thomas noted a dispute over whether jobs on the terminal plugging and unplugging refrigerated containers should be performed by members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers or the International Longshore and Warehouse Union was resolved last month through mediation by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. ILWU workers will perform the work, which provides the equivalent of two jobs.
Meanwhile, the port said earlier this month it has withdrawn an effort to annex West Hayden Island in the Columbia River
into the City of Portland. The island is located in an unincorporated area, and the port wanted to have it be made part of the city so that utilities could be brought to the island and a terminal developed on part of the land.
The port said its plan would have preserved 500 acres for habitat restoration and recreational amenities and 300 acres for a future marine industrial development.
The port also said while it "was agreeable to mitigation exceeding state and federal requirements, the city’s proposed annexation terms simply made the 300 acres unviable in the marketplace. Given the substantial costs and conditions, the port determined that investment of any additional time and money into the process is not justified."