The second largest shipping company in the world has announced that it will start making weekly stopovers at the terminal.
PORTLAND, Oregon – The number of freighters serving Portland is increasing.
This month, the world’s second largest shipping company, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), announcement it will provide service at Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland. Another major shipping company, SM Line, is expanding its service across the port.
On Thursday, the cargo ship SM Tianjin floated next to the pier at Terminal 6 as dozens of workers lifted containers from the ship and lowered it. Containers being loaded were heading to China and those being unloaded were going to businesses in the Portland area and beyond.
On average, one of these ships carries 650 containers at a time. SM Tianjin was carrying cargo for local stores including Fred Meyer, Dollar Tree and Les Schwab, the port of Portland said.
Currently, SM Tianjin is one of six ships that regularly call in Portland every month. Port of Portland officials are thrilled.
” It’s a good thing. This is a fantastic benefit for local businesses – the region’s farmers and producers as well as consumers. As you can see it’s a lot busier than it used to be and we’re very excited about it, ”said Dan Pippenger, Port of Portland Operations Manager.
On September 7, MSC announced that it will begin making weekly stopovers at Terminal 6. SM Line will expand its service by sending two more ships to the terminal each month.
SM Line returned to Terminal 6 in January 2020. It now plans to expand its service to Portland by sending two more ships to the terminal each month.
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This is a big change from 2016, when shippers stopped calling in Portland and the docks went silent.
The company that managed the docks at the time sued the longshoremen’s union for slowdowns and work stoppages. A jury awarded the company $ 96 million in damages. A federal judge later lowered the amount to $ 19 million.
The union did not respond to KGW’s request for an interview.
Either way, it seems relations, at least with the port, are better now.
“I have to tell you that I was the director of marine operations when we rented the container terminal and things didn’t go very well. But I can’t give the longshoremen enough credit for the partnership and the return of the terminal, ”Pippenger said.
In addition to delivering and picking up cargoes, freighters use Terminal 6 for purposes related to the overall safeguard of the shipping supply chain.
A shortage of shipping containers is expected to last until the end of the year.
Things are so tight that some ships come just to load empty freight containers and take them to China where they will be filled with product and sent back by the ocean.
The Wall Street Journal reports that containers are scarce for a number of reasons. Some are stranded on ships awaiting unloading at stranded ports like Long Beach, California. Others wait for trucks and drivers to take them to warehouses where they will be unloaded.
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