Container Business Jeopardized at Port of Portland

Hapag-Lloyd Vessel

Published Apr 6, 2015 4:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

Container business at the Port of Portland may take a serious hit as the port stands to loose another major container carrier. Although German-based Hapag-Lloyd has not made an official announcement that it will no longer call on Terminal 6, the company’s current schedule contains no calls for the port in the near future.

This comes shortly after Hanjin Shipping, the port’s largest carrier, pulled out in February, leaving the port with 80-percent less business. Hanjin stopped calling on Terminal 6 in the midst of the continuing labor disputes and backlog it caused. Hanjin was the only shipping company exporting Oregon goods directly to some of the state’s biggest clients.

Without Portland to compete with, Puget Sound could become more expensive to ship goods from, agriculture industry officials have said.

While Hapag-Lloyd is only around 20 percent of the Port of Portland’s container business, it is over 90 percent of the Port of Lewiston’s. Pea and lentil farmers ship their product from Lewiston upriver via the Columbia Snake River to the Port of Portland. If Hapag-Lloyd discontinues their business with the Portland port, there could be serious consequences for Lewiston.