Terminal 6 Keeps Autos Rolling

If you’re reading this story and drive a Hyundai or Honda, there’s a pretty good chance it arrived across our docks at marine Terminal 6. Many imports make their first stop in Portland before being shipped to dealerships across the region.

For those who order a Ford in the Far East, it may exit the states through Terminal 6. The American-made cars are shipped by rail from assembly plants to our docks, where vehicles are driven onto “ro-ro” ships (roll-on/roll-off) bound for China, the Philippines and South Korea.

Our auto export volumes have grown steadily in the last several years, with more than 50,000 vehicles moving through Terminal 6 in 2016. A total of 291,000 vehicles (both imports and exports, including Toyotas at our Terminal 4) rolled through our docks last year. That’s an 11 percent increase over the previous year.

You can count on those numbers to continue growing.  We joined Ford Motor Co. and Auto Warehousing Co. on May 24 in cutting the ribbon (see photos) for a new 18.9-acre storage and staging yard adjacent to Terminal 6, designed to support the continued growth of export vehicles.

The $7 million lot expansion was supported by a $2.6 million ConnectOregon grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation. The lot, which can hold about 3,000 vehicles, features porous pavement to minimize stormwater runoff, and offers energy efficient LED lighting.

Our auto story traces back to 1953 with the import of Volkswagens through Terminal 1. Since then, well over 11 million vehicles have come through our facilities.