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The Port of Portland announced today that South Korea-based container carrier SM Line will be bringing weekly container shipping service back to Portland. The announcement follows Governor Kate Brown’s recent trade mission trip to South Korea, where the Governor and Port representatives met with SM Line executives.
“We are thrilled to welcome SM Line and give regional shippers more options and better connect Oregon businesses to global markets,” said Curtis Robinhold, executive director at the Port of Portland. “This service will help reduce the number of trucks on the road and decrease regional environmental impacts of freight movement.”
SM Line launched in 2017 and continues to expand its presence on the Asia-North America trade route to meet growing demand. The Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 will be added to SM Line’s existing rotation to the Pacific Northwest, which includes stops in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle.
“This is great news for Oregon, which will create more jobs for Oregonians and more opportunities for local companies to grow as they market Oregon products overseas,” Governor Kate Brown said. “Oregon sent $1.7 billion in exports to South Korea last year. During our recent trade mission, we met with SM Line executives and made the case for continuing connections with our trading partners in Asia. I’m delighted they made the decision to come to Portland.”
The weekly service will start from the port of Ningbo in China on December 22, 2019, using six 4,300 to 4,500 TEU vessels, and the full port rotation will be Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Pusan, Kwangyang, and Yantian. The first journey is expected to arrive in Portland in January 2020.
Portland was selected as an additional stop due to Terminal 6’s proximity to Oregon customers, lack of congestion, and access to on-site rail connections that allow products to be quickly transported beyond Portland.
“We look forward to this new service in Portland, which will expand our trans-Pacific service coverage and better connect SM Line with customers in the region,” said Kee Hoon Park, SM Line CEO.
Oregon is a trade-dependent state, with international trade to Asia powering the agricultural, forest, technology, manufacturing and distribution industries. SM Line's new shipping service provides an important boost to Oregon's economic competitiveness and the growth of Oregon businesses – better connecting our region to the world. It also helps bring more jobs to Portland.
As Oregon’s largest port, the Port of Portland uses land, sea and air to ship Oregon-made goods across the globe and help bring quality products back to the region. The SM Line service builds on the Port’s successful partnership with BNSF Railway to move containers via rail to Seattle and Tacoma, and its recruitment of air cargo service offered by Cathay Pacific Cargo and, more recently, ANA Cargo, at Portland International Airport. FedEx and UPS also transport many of the goods bought and sold in the region.
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