ZIM’s new Portland service begins

By: | at 08:00 PM | Maritime  

ZIM USA’s May 14 arrival marks turnaround for Port of Portland’s container business

When the 3,800 teu ZIM USA docked at the Port’s Terminal 6 (T-6) May 14, it marked the culmination of two years of intensive efforts by the Port of Portland to attract a third container carrier.

‘For the past two years, we’ve focused on identifying the needs of potential carriers and demonstrating how Portland could meet those needs,’ said Port Liner Development Manager Greg Borossay. ‘On May 14, we celebrated the success of those efforts as we watched ZIM’s first ship loading and unloading our region’s cargo.’

Although Hanjin’s service to Asia and CP Ships/Hapag Lloyd’s Mediterranean Pacific service have both enjoyed strong volume growth since 2004, Portland and Columbia/Snake River System shippers continued to represent an underserved market. ZIM’s reconfigured Asia Mediterranean Pacific (AMP) service provides a world of opportunity for that underserved market, and regional businesses have been quick to jump on the opportunity. While the first ship’s imports were primarily destined for a Dollar Tree distribution center in Washington, regional exporters helped fill the ship with cargos destined for countries around the world.

  • Machinery, ink products, lumber, and used computers headed for China
  • Hay, metal scrap and lumber headed for Japan
  • Steel wire, metal scrap and wastepaper headed for Taiwan
  • Seeds and wastepaper headed for Korea
  • Hazelnuts and frozen juice headed for Israel
  • Used computers and machinery headed for Romania
  • Machinery headed for Singapore
  • Wastepaper headed for the Philippines
  • Diatomaceous earth headed for Turkey

‘One of the advantages carriers find in Portland is a balance between import and export loads,’ Borossay said. ‘While we’ve been known as the export port in the past, we’ve had impressive growth in import demand and we’re spreading the word that today, Portland is the balanced port. Carriers looking to generate additional revenue on the westbound leg of the trans-Pacific can find what they’re looking for in Portland.’

‘The other Portland advantage we’re looking forward to demonstrating is our outstanding intermodal infrastructure,’ said Borossay. ‘Right now, we have an available, on-dock intermodal yard that’s only five congestion-free miles to the high-capacity BNSF and UP Columbia River Gorge routes to the Midwest. From the berth to the rail yard to the mainlines, we have existing capacity to move 500,000 teus annually, and we’ve been looking for carriers willing to take advantage of it. ZIM has indicated they’ll offer intermodal service through Portland, and we’re very excited to prove Portland can be an extremely reliable, fast and efficient gateway port.’

ZIM’s Asia/Mediterranean/Pacific (AMP) service uses 13 container ships each capable of carrying 3,800 to 4,200 teus. 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 provides 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; Singapore; Shekou, China; Hong Kong, China; Shanghai, China; Pusan, Korea; Vancouver, BC; Portland, Oregon.


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