Portland container terminal to end operations

Port of Portland ends shipping container service

The Port of Portland has announced it will cease its shipping container service citing financial constraints as the primary reason for this decision.

The port looks to put an end to its container operations from 1 October as it reportedly cannot afford to keep the state’s only shipping container terminal open following the collapse of a deal with a third-party operator.

The third-party lease the port was pursuing was reportedly key to the port’s container businesses’ survival, alongside the foundation of their funding request with the Legislature.

The announcement comes as the port has suffered financial losses of more than $30 million over the past three years and a $14 million shortfall for this year. Despite the increased trade, costs across the supply chain have surged, leaving the port’s container facility on precarious footing.

READ: Port of Baltimore opens third temporary channel

Top port officials reluctantly announced the cessation of container handling, acknowledging the facility’s vital role in the region as they took this step.

“The port does not have the funding necessary to sustain the operation, and we have made the difficult decision to cease operations as of 1 October 2024,” Keith Leavitt, Chief Trade and Economic Development Officer at the port wrote in an email to industry stakeholders on 15 April.

We have notified the carriers, Harbor Industrial (our stevedore), as well as our staff, and we have also notified Governor Kotek and legislative leaders.

Obviously, we did not expect this outcome, but it’s important we face it quickly given contract considerations with carriers.

“We know that this terminal is a critical statewide asset, it is worthy of further discussions to come up with a financially sustainable business model for container service that has significantly more state funding and investment. “For now, we have run out of financial options and must take this step.”

Earlier this year, Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District (Plaquemines Port) signed a letter of intent with APM Terminals (APMT) to construct a container terminal on the West Bank of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, US.

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