Friday, July 26, 2013

Port of Portland Sees 2 Millionth Hyundai

After 23 years in operation, the Hyundai import auto terminal at the Port of Portland saw its two millionth vehicle roll through in mid-July.

Growing volumes of Hyundai vehicles have helped Portland remain the second largest auto import hub on the U.S. West Coast, according to the port.

Hyundai first began importing cars through Portland in 1986 – mostly Excel subcompact automobiles bound for dealers in 29 states. But it wasn’t until 1988 that the company officially signed a letter of intent confirming the Port of Portland as its primary U.S. port of entry. “Hyundai did an extensive comparative analysis on various West Coast ports for over a year before finally deciding to anchor down in Portland,” Bob Mazer, the Portland manager of Hyundai Auto Group’s logistics provider, GLOVIS America, said.

In 1988, the port and Hyundai financed construction of a $12.2 million auto import facility and floating dock along with funds from the Oregon Lottery and a groundbreaking was conducted in June 1989. The first Hyundai auto ship called at the new facility in March 1990.

A few long term leases and two million vehicles later, Auto Warehousing Company now handles the inbound Hyundai vehicles for GLOVIS at the leased, 130-acre Terminal 6 auto processing facility.

In 2012, Portland saw more than 275,000 vehicles roll across the docks, each with an estimated economic impact of $271 to the local economy.

Currently, a $2.8 million expansion is underway to increase the processing building by 27,000 square feet and increase capacity to more than 110,000 vehicles annually. The project could double the 70 jobs already on site, and provide added work for rail, trucking, longshoreman and teamster workers, according to the port.