A neglected river port on America’s congested west coast is finding new business amid the extraordinary operating conditions in today’s container shipping market.
Saturday saw the 4,900 teu MSC Ela make a maiden call at the port of Portland in Oregon, the start of what will become a weekly service.
The port, located on the Columbia river, has struggled to gain container clients since Hanjin Shipping quit calling in 2015. A smaller line, Westwood, departed in 2016, leaving the port without any container clients for a number of years.
In 2020, South Korea’s SM Line started calling at the port on a weekly basis, and SM has recently added more ships to this rotation to meet demand.
Foss Maritime’s tugs Carolyn Dorothy and Sarah assisted the first-ever arrival of an MSC ship calling Portland on Saturday.
Art Dahlin, general manager for Foss in the Columbia Snake River region, commented: “As a solution to the many challenges facing the supply chain due to the pandemic, MSC’s arrival supports the fact that the Port of Portland is a viable option for shipping companies calling on US West Coast ports.”