Auto Import Business Launches at Port of Portlan

GM car-carrying vessel Dong-A Metis at the Port of Portland’s Berth 601. Photo courtesy of Port of Portland.

A new auto import business launched at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 in early March.

At its onset, longshore workers unloaded about 3,100 General Motors vehicles from the ro/ro vessel Dong-A Metis at Berth 601, the majority of which were routed to points in the inland U.S. via rail.

Portland has said that it anticipates welcoming four ships each month, bringing about 160,000 GM vehicles through the port each year.

“From the longshore workers unloading the ships to the folks moving the imports to rail cars destined for the Midwest, this new business further solidifies the port as a premier auto gateway,” Port of Portland Chief Trade & Equitable Development Officer Keith Leavitt said.

The initial shipment included Buick Envision, Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trailblazer makes and models. The vehicles were built in both China and South Korea.

After receipt by Auto Warehousing Co. (AWC), most cars are routed to inland points throughout the U.S. via the Burlington Northern and Union Pacific rail connections at Terminal 6.

“We couldn’t be happier with the expansion of our 30-year long relationship with the Port of Portland and with GM, as their largest single-import customer on the West Coast,” Auto Warehousing Co. Co-President Ben Seher said.

“We’ve partnered with the port in the automotive logistics business for three decades,” he added. “Their excellent port facilities and access to reliable rail infrastructure and service mean quick and efficient shipping corridors to GM’s customers in the Midwest and Eastern U.S.”

Terminal 6 is a vital link between multiple modes of transportation, including truck, rail, barge and ship; the terminal provides access for Oregon businesses, as well as jobs in the import and export industries.