What’s the Impact of Hanjin’s Exit?

Last week it was reported that container shipper Hanjin will stop calling on the Port of Portland in January, this morning the Business Journal starts to figure out the impacts.

I expect that some will begin speculating about what this might mean for development of terminals on West Hayden Island. I honestly don’t know the answer to that. I suspect that the loss of revenue (Hanjin represents 80% of the container traffic for the Port) on the Port’s income statement could cause some challenges in financing future projects. On the other hand, the WHI terminals are intended for non-container traffic (grain, bulk minerals and possibly auto import/export), so this may not really provide any information about market viability.

In the short term it is certainly bad for the region’s carbon footprint. Trucking those containers to/from Puget Sound will use a lot more energy and output a lot more emissions than floating them up the Columbia does. And it will cost more, which will almost certainly get passed on to consumers here in some form.

I’m hoping Hanjin gets an earful from their customers and changes their mind.

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