Gov. Brown announces small biz initiative as Hapang-Lloyd officially ends service to Portland

Nearly all of Terminal 6’s business has announced an end to calls in the last month.

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Nearly all of Terminal 6’s business has announced an end to calls in the last month.

Westwood is the terminal’s only remaining client. It makes monthly calls and has a deal that runs through December, reports.

Elvis Ganda, chief executive of ICTSI Oregon, which took over container-terminal operations in 2010, said he is working to attract new lines to the port. But years of labor slowdowns at the docks has made Portland a hard sell — on top of the 100-mile-inland port’s existing challenge of only being able to accommodate vessels that can fit through the Columbia River channel. Ganda blames the dockworkers for intentionally sabotaging the port because of a grudge against ICTSI Oregon — to the point of making the terminal unattractive for shipping lines.

“While ICTSI Oregon will continue efforts to attract new customers, no carrier will want to make a long-term commitment to the terminal so long as (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) workers delay cargo and vessels as a strong-arm tactic to get what they want,” Ganda said. “We hold the ILWU fully accountable for its actions; therefore, it is imperative that the ILWU leadership in San Francisco publicly commit that its efforts to interfere with productivity in Portland are over.”

In response to the lost business, Gov. Kate Brown announced an initiative that would provide $300,000 to aid small and medium companies that rely on exporting goods.

“The movement of goods in and out of Oregon is essential to the state’s health now and in the future,” Brown said. “These investments help build a dependable and cost effective means for Oregon’s companies to access markets and grow during the current disruptions at the port and beyond.”

From the Portland Tribune:

According to Brown, the recent reductions in Oregon shipping options have forced importers and exporters to find more expensive alternatives. None of the $300,000 is dedicated to offsetting the increased shipping costs the businesses are facing because Hanjin Shipping and Hapag-Lloyd have stopped servicing Terminal 6, Oregon’s only deep water terminal, however.

Instead, $250,000 will be spent to prepare options for the 2016 Oregon Legislature to consider. The money will hire a contractor who will compile a list of small and medium business that export products. The contractor will also survey the businesses and hold meetings to determine what the State of Oregon can do to best help them. The remainder of the money, $50,000, will be spent to help the port reestablish a direct air cargo connection to Asia. The last direct cargo flight ceased in 2013. Products are currently being flown to Asia in cargo holds of passenger airplanes.

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