Port of Portland Halting Terminal 6 Container Service

Image: Port of Portland.

The Port of Portland said April 15 that it plans to discontinue container service at Terminal 6 on Oct. 1 due to an inability to fund operations.

In a letter to Terminal 6 shippers, the port’s Chief Trade and Economic Development Officer, Keith Leavitt wrote: “Despite the progress and effort we have made over the last year to create a financially sustainable path for container service at Terminal 6, I am sorry to say the third-party lease we were pursuing will not go forward at this time.”

Securing that lease was key to keeping the container business going and the thrust for asking the Oregon Legislature for funding, he said, adding that without the necessary funds, the port has “made the difficult decision” to shutter container operations.

“Obviously, we did not expect this outcome, but it’s important we face it quickly given contract considerations with carriers,” Leavitt wrote. “While this is a painful and necessary short-term decision, we learned a lot over the last year regarding the market, carrier interest and the overall economic importance of Oregon’s only container terminal.”

Meanwhile, Terminal 6 is expected to continue serving other shipping activities, such as automobile imports and breakbulk cargo, the port said April 18.

“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,” Leavitt said. “For now, we have run out of financial options and must take this step.”

By Karen Robes Meeks