Port Sees Growth But Expects Slowdown
by Kristian Foden-Vencil
Oregon Public Broadcasting, October 16, 2008
The Port of Portland celebrated a record-breaking year at its transportation conference Thursday. But as Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, the Port doesn't expect the same growth over the next 12 months.
The marine port shipped more than 15 million tons of goods last year, more than at any other time in history. It was a 13 percent increase over the year before.
At the airport 14.5 million passengers took flight, another record.
But port director Bill Wyatt says with the economic turmoil, imports are expected to drop.
Bill Wyatt: "I think there is reason to be optimistic about the long-term. But I think the next year or two are going to be choppy. It just means that we are going to be on our toes, working harder, trying more. We're going to pull back on some of the expansion plans at the airport."
The chairman of Union Pacific Railroad, Jim Young, attended the conference and said imports to the West coast are down about 8 percent. But on the brighter side he says a relatively weak dollar means exports are healthy.
Port of Portland
Marine Shipping Statistics from the Port of Portland
Grains and minerals are up at Portland (exports); everything else is down.
- Number of calls by oceangoing vessels -4.1% change calendar year-to-date
- Total tonnage 4.5% change calendar year-to-date
- Breakbulk total tonnage -8.6% change calendar year-to-date
- Number of containers (TEUs) total, load + discharge -6.6% change calendar year-to-date
- Number of containers (TEU) load -9.9% change calendar year-to-date
- Number of containers (teu) discharge -2.1% change calendar year-to-date
- Grain tonnage 10.2% change calendar year-to-date
- Auto units -2.8% change calendar year-to-date
- Mineral bulk tonnage 8.1% change calendar year-to-date
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