Port of Portland welcomes first container ship since April – kgw.com

Erik Siemers, Portland Business Journal
7:21 p.m. PDT July 20, 2015

The Port of Portland on Tuesday will receive its first incoming ship with filled container cargo since April, after a dispute between a longshore union and the terminal operator led the port’s biggest carriers to cease calling on Portland.

ICTSI Oregon Inc., the private company contracted by the port to run its Terminal 6 container business, said a vessel operated by Puyallup, Washington-based Westwood Shipping Lines is scheduled to arrive sometime Tuesday.

“This marks the first vessel to call on T6 since early April 2015,” ICTSI Oregon CEO Elvis Ganda said in a statement issued Monday afternoon. “We are partnering diligently with the Port of Portland to confirm all equipment is ready to work in a safe and efficient manner.”

Westwood has in recent years been the smallest container service to call on the Port of Portland. The two biggest carriers — South Korean-based Hanjin Shipping and Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd — earlier this spring announced they would cease scheduling vessels to call upon T6.

Their announcements came as an ongoing labor dispute between ICTSI and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union brought productivity at T6 to a standstill. Hanjin’s decision in particular was devastating — it accounted for 78 percent of all the container traffic to travel through T6, according to Port officials. At the time of its announcement in February, one of Hanjin’s vessels had been berthed at T6 for more than a week with cargo sitting on board.

T6 has received ships in the months since April, but those vessels carried only empty containers.

Westwood is scheduled to continue calling upon the Port monthly through the end of the year.

Officials from Westwood could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.

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