South Korea-based Hanjin Shipping Co. has confirmed plans to cease calling at the Port of Portland.
According to Oregon Live, terminal operator ICTSI Oregon confirmed Tuesday that it had been notified by Hanjin of its intentions to withdraw all container operations from Portland. The last Hanjin vessel to call at the port is expected March 9th, the report said. Although Hanjin did not provide ICTSI with a reason for its departure, it is being speculated that it may be related to
chronic congestion the ongoing labor dispute that has plagued west coast ports for several months.
Hanjin is the largest container carrier calling the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. The carrier represents approximately 80 percent of container throughput at the terminal, averaging about 1,600 containers per week, according to the Port of Portland. The Hanjin service supports an estimated 657 direct jobs and $33 million in personal wages annually, the Port has said.
In October 2013, Hanjin officials indicated to the Port and ICTSI that low productivity and escalating costs needed to be addressed at the container terminal in order for the company to remain there, the Port of Portland previously. Later in March 2014, Hanjin Shipping announced that it would continue its weekly transpacific vessel calls there, but that it would be reviewing operational performance on a quarterly basis.
The Port has a 25-year lease with ICTSI Oregon for the container terminal, which is the Columbia River’s only deep-draft container terminal. Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd and Westwood Shipping also provide container services there.