PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – An official with a South Korean shipping company that is the Port of Portland’s largest container carrier confirmed Hanjin Shipping will be terminating its service with the city.
In an email statement, Hanjin’s Mike Radak said the reason is simple: the company “can’t afford the expense of operating” in Portland.
Port spokesman Josh Thomas said Tuesday that Hanjin notified the port and customers it will withdraw services on March 9. Hanjin handles nearly 80 percent of the container volume at the port’s Terminal 6.
Without Hanjin, an estimated 657 people could lose their jobs — and about $12 million in state and local taxes could be lost.
Once Hanjin is gone, goods from Asia will have to travel in and out of the Portland area via Seattle, which would add to cost and shipping time. Port officials said Hanjin will continue to use rail and truck transportation.
“There’s going to be a shortage of products available throughout the industry, not just our industry, but most retailers,” business owner Mike Roelle told KOIN 6 News.
For customers, the change in shipping procedures could mean delays — sometimes up to a month — and higher prices on anything that ships from Asia.
“It’s going to be nationwide, it’s going to affect the west coast, the east coast and everything in between,” Bill Wyatt with the Port of Portland said.
Officials with the Port of Portland said they will work with terminal operators to recruit a new carrier.
Hanjin has had a presence in Portland since 1993, but the company has been unhappy about the pace of work among longshore workers and announced its intention to withdraw two years ago. Last year it decided to say but said it would review productivity and costs.The Associated Press contributed to this report.