Westwood Shipping, Last Remaining
by Luke Hammill
Moreover, Portland's loss has been Seattle and Tacoma's gain, as containerized cargo
that could be diverted from the Oregon port has remained with the Northwest Seaport Alliance.
Westwood Shipping Lines, the last remaining container carrier making regular calls at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6, announced this week in a letter to customers that its final call to Portland will be Saturday, the Port confirmed.
"While we are disappointed with this news, we also understand the underlying economics of the carrier industry are at play," the Port said in a news release.
Westwood, based in Puyallup, Washington, said in the letter that it no longer penciled out to make a single call per month to Portland.
Shipping companies Hanjin and Hapag-Lloyd, which accounted for most of the business at the container terminal, pulled out of Portland in 2015. The departures came in the wake of labor unrest at Terminal 6, including months of slow work during contract negotiations between West Coast port operators and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Westwood similarly suspended service in April 2015, but the company returned with monthly export calls last July, the Port said.
A spokesman for Terminal 6 operator ICTSI Oregon said the company had not received any announcement from Westwood as of Wednesday afternoon.
Each of Westwood's calls to Portland took about 150 containers of hay, grass seed, dried fruits, other agricultural goods and paperboard to Japan, according to the Port. The Port said bulk, breakbulk and auto operations at terminals 2, 4, 5 and 6 have not been impacted.
An attempt to reach Westwood for comment was unsuccessful.
Shipping Authority Seeks to 'Adopt' Portland by Staff, Port Strategy, 5/12/16
Here's Why Portland Won't Get New Shipping Container Service Anytime Soon by James Cronin, Portland Business Journal, 5/9/16
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