Hanjin says they left Port of Portland due to longshore union

Hanjin says they left Port of Portland due to longshore union

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by Joe Smith, KGW Business Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 6:35 AM

PORTLAND -- There is a lot of finger pointing going around over Hanjin Shipping’s planned January pullout from the Port of Portland.

Hanjin blames members of the longshoreman's union.

Bill Wyatt, the Executive Director of the Port of Portland, said it's clear the reason they plan to leave Portland is the lack of productivity, meaning the time it takes to move containers from a ship to the terminal and out the gate.

It's down to just 20 containers an hour from a traditional average of 30.

That slowness costs the terminal operator more money to move the same amount of cargo.

“It is about making clear to people what the issue is, what the challenge is and then finding out whether or not everybody is willing to pitch in and resolve this,” Wyatt said.

More: Shipping costs could rise if Hanjin ships out

Dane Jones, Secretary/Treasurer of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 40 said it’s not their fault.

“We aren't the problem and to ask us to be the only provider of the solution is not realistic,” Jones said.

Wyatt does admit there is plenty of blame to go around.

With the January deadline looming, Wyatt plans to sit down with the union, the terminal operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. and Hanjin.

If Hanjin leaves it will cost some companies nearly double to export their goods.

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