"K" Line Ships Returnby Amy Hsuan
The Oregonian, June 20, 2008
For the first time in four years, container ships from a Tokyo-based shipping company will resume service to the Port of Portland, reviving direct connections with crucial overseas markets.
Starting July 29, the "K" Line shipping company, which exports agricultural products to Asia and imports finished goods to the region, will begin calling at the Port of Portland. The Japanese shipping line pulled out from Portland in December 2004.
Port of Portland officials say they are unsure of how many containers will be part of the new service, and likely will not know until the ship begins to call next month.
"We don't know what specifically this means for us or what kind of volumes," said Josh Thomas, a Port of Portland spokesman. "But, it would only be a good thing for us."
The new service will provide a direct link to Japan, a major market for Oregon fruits, berries and other products. Since "K" Line's departure, some exporters and farmers shipped products through the Port of Tacoma or Seattle.
The return of "K" Line will strengthen ties to an important overseas market at a time when ports along the west coast have seen a slowdown.
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