Friday, January 19, 2018

Portland Terminal 6 Best Use Determined

By Karen Robes Meeks

Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland would be best served as “a multi-use terminal that dedicates revenues from other terminal activities to support container service,” according to the port, which recently announced the findings of a consultant study and work from an industry leader committee. The findings, which were presented to the port commission earlier this month, showed that a diverse mix of cargo uses is needed to support the container business since volumes are lower than most West Coast ports.

The location, as a river port, and mergers in the marine industry may make it difficult to get a return on weekly trans-Pacific container service. Drawing carriers that offer service to Asia that align with the region’s primary export and import markets, keeping terminal rates competitive and labor productivity levels at or above West Coast standards, lowering costs and securing container volume support from the shipping community are key to the facility’s success, the study indicated.

“This analysis reinforced that there is no silver bullet for container service,” said Curtis Robinhold, Port executive director. “With the strong backing of shippers, labor and businesses, I’m hopeful that we can continue to offer container service options for shippers at T-6, while ensuring long-term financial stability. We heard strong support from our partners in the shipping community that they are willing to do what it takes to help support container service at the terminal.”

Meanwhile, the port and BNSF are teaming up to offer a rail shuttle between Terminal 6 and Puget Sound ports. Also, Swire Shipping now calls at T-6 monthly with a general cargo/container service to New Zealand/Australia and Asia.