Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hanjin Planning Port of Portland Exit

Hanjin Shipping says that because of escalating costs, it will cease its direct-call service to Port of Portland as part of its Pacific Northwest Hanjin Express Service (PNH) effective January 2014.

With the change, all shipments currently being served via the Port of Portland will be rerouted through the Seattle or Tacoma ports, according to an Oct. 17 letter to customers. All other port calls on the PNH service are expected to remain the same.

“Decision to stop Portland port call service comes with much difficulty knowing the level of appreciation received from our customers with this exclusive service in and out of great State of Oregon,” the letter reads in part. “However, the cost of serving this port has escalated significantly this year to deter us from maintaining quality service which you have come to expect.”

Hanjin is the largest container carrier calling at Portland’s Terminal 6. The service represents about 80 percent of container throughput at the terminal, averaging about 1,600 containers per week. Hanjin has had a presence in the area since 1994, and has contracts with many of the area’s largest shippers.

The departure of Hanjin would leave Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd and Westwood Shipping as the remaining direct calling carriers at Terminal 6. The port says the change would not affect other business lines such as autos, minerals, grain, steel or liquid bulks.

Hanjin leadership staff is expected to meet with officials from the port and terminal operator ICTSI Oregon in coming weeks. Meanwhile, Hanjin will continue weekly direct calls at Terminal 6 for the duration of the calendar year.

“Hanjin has been a valued customer of the port for almost 20 years and we continue to believe that they have a valuable container shipping franchise in this market,” Port of Portland Chief Commercial Officer Sam Ruda said in a statement.