Happy Thanksgiving

We devoted a few lines yesterday to the Port of Portland, but there’s still more to be said. Toyota’s newly erected $ 40 million facility will handle more than 175,000 vehicles annually at the port and will require at least 200 employees. At a media showing on Tuesday, the port’s Executive Director, Bill Wyatt, stated that, “Beyond the direct jobs Toyota brings to Portland, their operation supports hundreds of other family-wage jobs in our region’s truck, rail and maritime industries”. In spite of Toyota’s sizable presence, there’s still a lot of elbow room at the port.

The port heard some further encouraging news when it was announced that Congress passed a bill over the weekend authorizing an appropriation of $ 9 million for deepening the Columbia River channel serving Portland. Hanjin had already announced its commitment to include the port in a new 12-vessel rotation utilizing 5,500 TEU post-Panamax vessels, in place of the previously used 4,024 TEU Panamax ships, and this is the “solid start” Mr. Wyatt was anticipating. The Port Commission had adopted a strategic plan identifying key issues and objectives, and in conjunction with this plan, the Marine Department’s Marine Terminals Master Plan 2020 (MTMP 2020) will serve to guide the port staff in its decision making. Chief among the goals of the MTMP 2020 are;
1. Improving, maintaining, redeveloping and building-out existing Terminals 2,4,5 and 6.
2. Creating a 10-year Capital Improvement Plan.

Some less-than-encouraging news has been received by the Port of Los Angeles, however. London-based P&O Nedlloyd has taken legal action against the port claiming that port officials’ bias towards a competitor has cost the company a desirable harbor lease. Here’s how an overseas journal had it.

“P&O Nedlloyd filed a petition in Superior Court on Thursday, asking a judge to halt the bidding for a “green” terminal site at the Port of Los Angeles, claiming port officials had changed anti-pollution standards, rejected all existing bids (four), and opened negotiations with Evergreen Marine Corp.

“P&O Nedlloyd is questioning the reasons for a second bid, particularly as its own bid is believed to have complied with all the port’s requirements. The line also claims that the port had backtracked on tentative agreements made.

“According to media reports, several clean-air and community groups have rallied behind P&O, saying that its bid indicated that it would be the least polluting tenant. The Port of LA is Southern California’s biggest culprit of air pollution.

“According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, this is just the latest in a string of twists in finding a suitable “green” tenant, and the situation has caught the attention of federal investigators who are looking into alleged irregularities in city contracting processes.”

And that’s as much as we’ll say on that subject. [Enjoy yourself tomorrow.]