Portland Container Terminal Operator
by James Cronin
The Port of Portland's container terminal operator is in talks with four shipping companies to potentially serve the city.
A contentious labor dispute between the longshore union and ICTSI Oregon Inc., the company that manages the port's container business, resulted in the loss of the port's two biggest container carriers -- South Korean-based Hanjin Shipping and Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd.
Now, ICTSI is courting four companies to potentially call at the port, where the single container carrier, Puyallup, Washington-based Westwood Shipping Lines makes just one call each month.
Elvis Ganda, ICTSI's CEO said this morning he's meeting next week with one company whose "interest is positive," despite the simmering union issues. He said he is working closely with the port's leadership to boost business at the port.
In reality, there are only 10, maybe fewer, companies that would realistically make calls to Portland, according to Barry Horowitz, principal of CMS Consulting Services LLC, and a former port executive. Horowitz added it's tough to ascertain which exact companies might be on ICTSI's list.
That said, if ICTSI is talking to four companies, "they're making some serious progress," he said.
"The shipping companies are not going to talk to anybody unless there's something serious to talk about," Horowitz said. "There is a market here in Portland that clearly is not being served. Hanjin didn't leave Portland because business was bad.
"Hanjin left Portland because of the uncertainty of the reliability of waterfront labor. Someone will pick up a very nice piece of business."
Shipping Report by Port of Porland, 2011 to 2015
Port of Portland's Marine Terminal Shipments Plummet Year Over Year by James Cronin, Portland Business Journal, 11/20/15
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