Port of Portland Reverses Decision to End Cargo Handling at Terminal 6

Terminal 6. Photo: Port of Portland.

The Port of Portland, which in mid-April said that it was halting cargo handling services at Terminal 6 later this year due to a funding shortfall, has reversed its decision following an expected new cash infusion from the Oregon state Legislature.

A proposal issued May 16 by Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek’s includes $35 million for the port from her 2025-2027 proposed budget and $5 million in funding that’s expected to be requested at the September meeting of the state Legislature’s Emergency Board.

Each expenditure would need lawmakers’ approval.

“After the Port of Portland’s April announcement that container service would end this October, I heard from scores of producers throughout Oregon that relied on Terminal 6 to ship their goods,” Kotek said. “In response, I am proposing to invest $40 million in state funds to allow container service to continue and communicate my expectations for reliable and sustainable service moving forward.”

Kotek previously represented the Port of Portland’s district in the Oregon Legislature for many years.

“We’re grateful for Gov. Kotek’s declaration of support, and her commitment to maintaining this important piece of our economy,” Port of Portland Executive Director Curtis Robinhold said. “We are also extremely grateful for the strong backing from a bipartisan group of legislators who recognize the value of trade to businesses and communities throughout our state. With the support of the Oregon Legislature, container shipping at Terminal 6 will continue.”

The port has been working to rebuild container service since taking over the operation in 2018, following a temporary shutdown under former operator ICTSI. Without direct state support or a financially acceptable third-party lease, container operations haven’t been sustainable.

“Gov. Kotek’s support for investing in marine container operations is a game changer, demonstrating the state’s political will to provide ongoing support for international container service and the countless benefits it provides,” Port of Portland Chief Trade and Economic Development Officer Keith Leavitt said.