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Port Shipments Down 34.3 Percent

by Staff
Portland Business Journal, October 19, 2009

The Port of Portland continues to struggle with slumping shipping volumes, according to statistics released Tuesday.

Marine cargo at the Port of Portland declined 36.6 percent in September compared to the same month last year.

The Port hasn't handled 1 million tons of cargo in a month since October 2008. Prior to that, the Port handled at least 1 million tons of cargo in 22 out of 23 months.

For the year, total cargo tonnage is down 34.3 percent to 7.2 million tons.

Bulk shipments of minerals are down 52 percent to 2 million tons this year.

Breakbulk tonnage, mostly steel slab and steel rail, is down 66.6 percent to 248,000 tons.

Auto shipments are down 45.8 percent to 174,000.

Container units are down 29.9 percent to 131,000.

The Port set a record for shipments in 2007 when it processed more than 14.4 million tons of cargo. It narrowly missed topping the mark in 2008 when 14.1 million tons of cargo passed through the Port.

The Port announced several moves in March to address decreased Port activity.

At the time, the Port said it would cut about 50 jobs and use furloughs and executive pay reductions to trim $7.5 million from its budget. Of the 50 job cuts, between 25 and 30 were filled positions.

Executive Director Bill Wyatt took the biggest pay cut. Wyatt had a $299,990 annual salary which was cut by 10 percent.

Administrative employees were also asked to take 15 furlough days

Port Shipments Down 34.3 Percent
Portland Business Journal, October 19, 2009

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