Local benefits include 172 new jobs, $8.9 million in personal income, and more ocean shipping opportunities to and from Asia and the Mediterranean for regional businesses
Oregon, Washington and Idaho businesses involved in international trade are celebrating the announcement by ZIM American Integrated Shipping Services Company that it will reroute their Asia-Mediterranean-Pacific (AMP) ocean container service beginning with their first call in Portland May 14. Portland will be the AMP service’s only US West Coast port of call.
The new service provides the region’s businesses with much needed additional container shipping capacity to and from international markets through Portland. The Port estimates Zim’s new weekly calls will also create 106 direct jobs and 66 induced jobs with a combined annual personal income of $8.9 million.
In addition to their local and regional service, ZIM will offer service to distribution centers in Minneapolis, MN, and Joliet, IL, via Portland. This will benefit shippers moving cargo from Asia to the US Midwest and East Coast and demonstrate Portland’s ability to serve as a gateway for containerized freight into the Midwest.
‘We’re thrilled that ZIM has recognized the opportunity Portland represents as both a local market and as a gateway to the Midwest,’ said Port Executive Director Bill Wyatt. ‘ZIM’s decision reflects the determination and hard work of not just the Port, but of our whole region to ensure our businesses continue to have competitive access to world markets.’
ZIM’s AMP service uses 13 container ships each capable of carrying 3,800 to 4,200 twenty-foot containers. Regional shippers will also have the opportunity to work with additional shipping lines. Of the 13 vessels in the AMP service, Zim operates 11, CSAV Norasia operates one, and China Shipping Container Lines operates one.
The AMP service will provide direct, fixed, weekly service with fast transit times to the following ports of call:
- Piraeus, Greece
- Kumport, Turkey
- Constantza, Romania
- Haifa, Israel
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Shekou, China
- Hong Kong, China
- Shanghai, China
- Pusan, Korea
- Vancouver, BC
‘The decision to call Portland was a direct response to the transport requirements of Zim’s customers,’ said ZIM’s Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Thomas Keen. ‘Portland’s prime location, accessibility and close proximity to major rail and highway connections match Zim’s criterion for a port that can provide its customers with a superior, value-added, world class container service.’
‘This is fantastic news for local and regional businesses,’ said Chris Mergenthaler, president of local freight forwarder George S. Bush & Co. and co-chair of the Columbia River Container Service Committee. ‘The fact is, direct call container service is critical to helping our region’s businesses compete in the international marketplace. The Port has done an excellent job of working with regional businesses to attract additional container service, and ZIM’s new service is the result of that hard work.’