Port of Portland feels threat of bigger vessels

Original Post Source

Dive Brief:

  • The ever-expanding size of container ships are negatively impacting the Port of Portland, which lacks the massive cranes needed to aid in unloading, Capital Press reported.
  • Container traffic ceased in 2016 when carriers began avoiding the facility, faulting slow service caused by a dispute between the International Longshoremen Worker’s Union (ILWU) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI).
  • The port serves as a means of export for local producers of hay and lumber, and is also near a rail yard. However, a lack of containers currently hampers the possibility of intermodal transport to other ports.

Dive Insight:

The lack of a thriving port has a tremendously negative impact on a city, as ports typically provide hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in benefits to local economies, both directly and indirectly. In general, port cities typically specialize in distribution, with countless freight forwarders, trucking companies, trade agents and freight equipment providers ope rating within the region. Industrial real estate also tends to flourish in such areas, as manufacturers look to reduce transport distance by locating nearby.

Currently, east coast ports are benefiting most from the Panama Canal expansion, shouldering heavy investments to ensure they remain viable, if not foremost in the new post-Panamax age. While west coast ports are by no means out of the game, lingering mistrust is affecting usage, especially by 3PLs who experienced significant disruption during 2015’s labor disputes. At that time, many 3PLs chose to reroute to the east coast.

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Filed Under: Freight

Top image credit: Cole Rosengren

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