Governor, Port and trade boosters happy to announce small win for beleaguered Terminal 6

COURTESY: PORT OF PORTLAND - Termainl 6 at the Port of Portland will see some some container action in January 2018 from Swire's monthly calls, bringing goods from Asia and taking Daimler trucks to Australasia.

Swire Shipping will begin container shipping service at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 in January 2018. Ships will call once a month as Swire Shipping offers a mix of general, non-containerized cargo and container service.

Shipments out will include Western Star trucks to Australia and containers to Australia and New Zealand. Containers of goods will be imported from Asia.

The trucks are manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America at their Swan Island plant in Portland. In a statement Monday the Port of Portland called it "a critical first step toward restarting container service at Terminal 6" and added that it will "aid in efforts to attract an additional service in the future.

"The Port is focused on giving our local shippers a variety of options to move their goods efficiently," said Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland's new executive director. "This signals that T-6 is open for business. We very much appreciate the growing partnership we have with Swire."

Terminal 6 has been in the doldrums as a container terminal since Hanjin Shipping ceased its weekly calls in 2015 over dissatisfaction with a local labor dispute. Westwood shipping ceased its monthly calls in May 2016.

Swire Shipping service and Cathay Pacific are partially or wholly owned by the Swire Group. Cathay Pacific began air freight service between Asia and Portland earlier this year.

The announcement follows Governor Brown's recent trade mission trip to Hong Kong, where the Governor and Port representatives met with Swire corporate executives. This Governor's office said the new shipping option is part of a larger goal to ensure Oregon and regional shippers have access to the global marketplace.

"I am absolutely delighted to announce new container service will begin at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6," Governor Brown said. "Not only does the container service support jobs for Oregonians, it's going to give more options to Oregon companies as we work to maximize Terminal 6. Strong trading partnerships and access to global markets allow Oregon businesses to grow, helping to sustain a thriving statewide economy."

Swire's new shipping service is supported by a $250,000 Strategic Reserve Fund investment to help Oregon businesses get their get products to international markets efficiently, and support Northwest shippers.

The Governor's office called it the new service "pivotal to Oregon's economic competitiveness and the growth of Oregon businesses."

Joseph Gallivan
Reporter, The Business Tribune
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