Major shipping company pulls out of Portland

KOIN 6 News

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – An official with a South Korean shipping company that is the Port of Portland’s largest container carrier confirmed Hanjin Shipping will be terminating its service with the city.

In an email statement, Hanjin’s Mike Radak said the reason is simple: the company “can’t afford the expense of operating” in Portland.

Port spokesman Josh Thomas said Tuesday that Hanjin notified the port and customers it will withdraw services on March 9. Hanjin handles nearly 80 percent of the container volume at the port’s Terminal 6.  

Without Hanjin, an estimated 657 people could lose their jobs — and about $12 million in state and local taxes could be lost.

Once Hanjin is gone, goods from Asia will have to travel in and out of the Portland area via Seattle, which would add to cost and shipping time. Port officials said Hanjin will continue to use rail and truck transportation.

“There’s going to be a shortage of products available throughout the industry, not just our industry, but most retailers,” business owner Mike Roelle told KOIN 6 News.

For customers, the change in shipping procedures could mean delays — sometimes up to a month — and higher prices on anything that ships from Asia.

“It’s going to be nationwide, it’s going to affect the west coast, the east coast and everything in between,” Bill Wyatt with the Port of Portland said.

Officials with the Port of Portland said they will work with terminal operators to recruit a new carrier.

Hanjin has had a presence in Portland since 1993, but the company has been unhappy about the pace of work among longshore workers and announced its intention to withdraw two years ago. Last year it decided to stay but said it would review productivity and costs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2 thoughts on “Major shipping company pulls out of Portland

  1. If they can ship cheaper threw another port that should lower cost. If it is exports for them. If it cost more to ship here. That is a good reason to move the plant here and make it here. So a win situation for some.

  2. This looks to me like another attempt to blame the economic collapse on this port problem just in case they can’t get WW3 started.

    I don’t think that a shipping company’s move from one city to another is all that big a deal. They’re only moving from Portland to Seattle, both of which cities have been handling international shipping for more than a century, and aren’t even far from each other. It’s not as if everything has to be re-routed through the Panama Canal or anything; this is only a slight change in the ship’s course.

    NYC lost almost all of its shipping to NJ ports, and it didn’t change anything. Here we’re only talking about one company.

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