Shipping costs could rise if Hanjin ships out

Shipping costs could rise if Hanjin ships out

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by Joe Smith, KGW Business Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 7:17 PM

PORTLAND --The Port of Portland's largest container shipping company is planning to end its stop in Portland come January.

Hanjin has been making weekly trips to Portland's Terminal 6 for 20 years. More than a thousand local companies count on it to get their goods to market. The port estimates 771 jobs and over $45 million in annual wages is connected to Terminal 6.

For longshoremen, it represents $225,000 in weekly earnings.

But the longshoremen have been embroiled in an ongoing dispute with ICTSI Oregon Inc., the private company that runs Terminal 6.

It's a rift that's been building for some time.

ICTSI Oregon Inc. accused the union of slowdowns, job jurisdiction disputes and more.

“I know there have been a lot of accusations against the workers, which we consider unfair,” said Jennifer Sargent, Communications Director with the International Longshore Workers Union.

The conflict has meant higher costs for Hanjin-- a major factor in their decision to leave Terminal 6.

“The decision was a cost based decision,” said Josh Thomas, a spokesperson for the Port. “The increased costs were untenable for the carrier.”

If Hanjin does leave, it will mean higher costs for companies like Columbia Sportswear, Hampton Lumber and Fred Meyer who will need to truck in goods from ports in Puget Sound.

The port, Hanjin, ICTSI Oregon Inc. and Fred Meyer hope to sit down in the next few weeks to see if something can be worked out to keep Hanjin ships steaming into port.

Hanjin and ICTSI Oregon Inc. did not respond to requests for interview in time for broadcast.

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