The Port of Portland in Oregon is losing its last significant regular container carrier with the announcement that Westwood Shipping Lines will no longer do business at the Rose City’s Terminal 6 after a final call on this coming Saturday, according to the Oregonian newspaper.
Port officials, while saddened by the news, were not surprised as the Westwood service has been reduced to once-monthly calls.
Even those are not economically viable now, says Westwood which is based in Puyallup, Washington, but a subsidiary of Japanese holding company J-WeSco.
The Port is marking its 125th anniversary this year and officials are still hoping to be able to attract container business back in future.
Over-capacity and very low rates are partly to blame, a Port of Portland spokesman said.
But the Port’s container service has been waning ever since having the guts of its business ripped out in March 2015 when Hanjin of South Korea and Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd stopped calling.
Those firms cited tardy loading times and problems caused by a lengthy labour dispute at the Port of Portland.
Non-containerized cargo business continues unaffected at Port of Portland’s terminals 2, 4, 5 and 6.