?K? Line is again withdrawing its container service from the Port of Portland due in large part to a weakened global economy.
Several months after returning to Portland for the first time since 2004, ?K? Line is again withdrawing its container service from the Port of Portland due in large part to a weakened global economy. Company officials have confirmed the decision, saying a formal announcement is imminent. ?This is not good news,? said Sam Ruda, director of marine and industrial development. ?Nevertheless, it is consistent with the broader market deterioration and the ripple effects of decisions that for the most part, do not involve Portland.?
Changes due to the service realignment will impact ports in Japan, Taiwan, and others throughout Europe. In April, ?K? Line will disband the ?pendulum? service that included Portland. The company will continue to call Portland with auto carriers and will still have allocations for cargo on the Hanjin/Cosco service.
The decision did not come as a complete surprise, in part due to sheer timing. Since the first call on July 30, 2008, trade volumes, markets, revenues, employment, and key economic indicators worldwide have steadily plummeted. Carriers are facing challenging global market forces, and an estimated 10% of the world containership fleet is now idled.
?The global economic recession is not, unfortunately, leaving the Port of Portland untouched ? all lines of our business in marine and aviation are impacted,? said Bill Wyatt, executive director for the Port of Portland. ?But this difficult news should not obscure the many positive developments that are afoot.?
Such developments include the nearing completion of the channel improvement project, new and expanding distribution center facilities in Rivergate and Troutdale, and road and rail infrastructure projects aimed at improving the movement of goods to and from marine facilities.