Port Agreement Reached,
by Anna Marum
Though West Coast dockworkers and their employers reached a tentative five-year contract on Friday, the situation is still grim at the Port of Portland, where Hanjin Shipping Co. is sticking to its plan to withdraw on March 9.
Hanjin is the port's primary link to Asia, accounting for 78 percent of the business - $83 million annually - at Terminal 6, the marine container terminal.
Word of the tentative five-year deal between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) is welcome news for the Port of Portland, said Steve Johnson, an agency spokesman. He said he hoped it would normalize the flow of imports and exports.
However, it's unclear how long it will take to clear the shipping congestion that has intensified in recent weeks as the dispute dragged on.
For now, Hanjin will continue to ship in and out of Portland until March 9, after which point the port will be left with Hapag-Lloyd and Westwood Shipping as the primary carriers to Terminal 6.
"We're still concerned for local importers and exporters and we'll continue working hard to recruit new service for Portland," Johnson said.
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