Oregon governor Kate Brown has approved a fund of US$50,000 aimed at trying to ensure an air cargo service between Portland and Asia is resumed. It’s one piece of a US$300,000 plan by the State of Oregon and the Port of Portland, which owns and operates Portland International Airport, to compensate for the loss of a marine container terminal, now that Terminal 6 has lost both of its major shipping lines.
Korea’s Asiana Airlines discontinued its freighter flights from Incheon International Airport to Portland International Airport in 2013, leaving Oregon without a cargo service. Products are only being flown to Asia in bellyholds. Port officials did not immediately have details about whether the most recent investment would be for a return of the Asiana flight, or a different airline, or when it would begin.
Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Port of Portland, said: “Lack of shipping services from Portland, whether via air or water, has a significant impact on the competitiveness of Oregon products in global markets. These funds will assist in…recruiting [a] new air cargo service to our region.”
The Oregon state office says in 2014 exports reached US$20 billion, up 12 per cent from 2013. Brown says: “The movement of goods in and out of Oregon is essential to the state’s health.”