Convinced that labor productivity at the Port of Portland has returned to normal, Hanjin Shipping will resume making ship calls at the Pacific Northwest port.
Hanjin suspended its regularly scheduled service to Portland in June after a dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the operator of the port’s container terminal resulted in alleged work slowdowns.
The ILWU was upset that jobs involving the plugging, unplugging and monitoring of refrigerated containers at Terminal 6 were being performed by members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The ILWU, which staffs cargo-handling operations at West Coast ports, charged that the reefer work falls under its jurisdiction.
After the dispute erupted, long lines of trucks began to form at Terminal 6, Portland’s only container terminal. The ILWU denied that longshoremen were engaging in slowdowns, but Hanjin rerouted its vessels to Seattle when productivity in Portland dropped.
In early July, the ILWU, the IBEW, terminal operator ICTSI and the port authority agreed that the ILWU would perform the reefer work until the National Labor Relations Board decides the jurisdictional issue. That decision could be weeks if not months away, the port said.
Other shipping lines including Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Sud and Westwood Shipping Line have maintained their services to Portland. Hanjin’s service will resume with the arrival Saturday of the vessel Mundra.
Sam Ruda, the port’s chief commercial officer, said the return of the Hanjin service will “certainly assist the process of restoring confidence for all industry stakeholders.”