Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 19

ยป FEATURE

FIND YOUR NICHE
By Sandy Smith

B

ack in the 1950s, the Port of
Portland was working to secure
its position as a leader in auto
imports. The time was postWWII America, and the auto import of
choice - the German Volkswagen - stood
as a potential obstacle to the port's success. There wasn't much appetite for the
Hitler-designed vehicle so soon after the
war, and the Port's West Coast location
did not make it an obvious location for an
import from Europe. The port was able to
overcome both.
As the auto production shifted to Japan
in the 1980s, the port was in a prime spot
to build upon its niche. In the years since,
more than 11 million autos have come
through the port, enhancing its reputation
in the specialty.
"It's just a matter of matching your
strengths with opportunities that are out
there in the market and being realistic about
it," said Ken O'Hollaren, the marine marketing director at the Port of Portland. "You
can't be all things to all people, or try to
compete with other ports that are. It means
having a strong sense of what your strengths
are and how that matches opportunities."

And these days, looking for those
opportunities makes sense, said Richard
Heintzelman, executive vice president
and head of business development, terminals and EPCs for Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Logistics. "While I'm sure most ports would
like to offer a wide variety of service capabilities across various maritime industry
segments, the reality is that it has become
increasingly challenging to be 'all things to
all people,'" he said. "Whether we're talking
about available acreage, terminal footprint,
rail connectivity or other services, each port
is different and unique in its ability to service both its export and import customers."
That means capitalizing on inherent skills,
as well as taking advantage of what sets the
port apart, whether that is location or nature.
"Overall, it is important for cargo to move
quickly and economically through the
supply chain, enabling all of the port's
customers - both carriers and end customers alike - to meet their market
needs," Heintzelman said. "Certain ports
have a bigger container capability based on
crane capacity. Other ports a bigger ro-ro
[roll on/roll off] footprint based on land availability and vehicle processing services, while

bulk terminals have their own unique service
requirements. I think ports in general have
evolved over time in line with their histories,
the markets they serve and their capability
for development."
This evolution has led some ports to capitalize on routes while others have begun
to dominate in cold storage, commodities
and, yes, autos.
Landing in the sweet spot of finding,
growing and dominating a niche area takes
a combination of luck, resources and foresight. And it means being willing - and
able - to ride out fluctuations that are well
beyond the control of the port.

FALL 2017 * WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM

19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017

AAPA Headquarters
From the President's Desk
Seizing LNG Supply Chain Opportunities
Find Your Niche
The Power of One, Collaboration by Many
Bringing the Outside In
Accelearating the Future
Power Shift: In the Energy Sector, Change Is the Only Constant
Strengthening U.S. Ports to Support Increasing Freight and Transportation
Port Partnerships for Strategic Positioning and Success
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Intro
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - bellyband1
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - bellyband2
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - cover1
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - cover2
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 3
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 4
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 5
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - AAPA Headquarters
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 7
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - From the President's Desk
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 9
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Seizing LNG Supply Chain Opportunities
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 11
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 12
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 13
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 14
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 15
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 16
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 17
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 18
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Find Your Niche
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 20
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 21
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 22
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 23
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 24
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 25
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - The Power of One, Collaboration by Many
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 27
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 28
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Bringing the Outside In
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 30
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 31
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 32
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 33
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 34
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 35
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 36
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Accelearating the Future
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 38
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 39
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 40
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 41
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 42
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 43
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 44
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Power Shift: In the Energy Sector, Change Is the Only Constant
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 46
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 47
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 48
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 49
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Strengthening U.S. Ports to Support Increasing Freight and Transportation
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 51
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Port Partnerships for Strategic Positioning and Success
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 53
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 54
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 55
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 56
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 57
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - cover3
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - cover4
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - divider1
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - divider2
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 66
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 67
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 68
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 69
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 70
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 71
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 72
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 73
Seaports Magazine - Fall 2017 - 74
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