Port of Portland Signs Direct Japanese
by James Mayer
A new shipping deal announced Tuesday will provide Northwest exporters with direct access to ports in Japan.
Starting July 11, the monthly service by Westwood Shipping Lines will provide space for more than 200 containers per month under a six month contract. Once successfully established, Port of Portland officials said the service could quickly increase in both volumes and frequency.
"While this will start relatively small, the relevance to shippers in our region is great," said Greg Borossay, senior manager of carrier development for the port.
Westwood's Portland service will carry non-refrigerated containerized agricultural products including hay, as well as paper products and other commodities from valley, upriver and inland customers. Ports of call in Japan will include Shimizu, Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya, as well as Busan, South Korea.
Westwood provides service to more ports in Japan on a direct call basis than any other carrier, officials said.
Officials said the nearly completed channel-deepening project was instrumental in attracting the service.
"Completion of the navigation channel improvements helped make this possible for us," said Guy Stephenson, president of Westwood Shipping Lines.
Westwood is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Co. based in Federal Way, Wash.
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