It is a crazy time for MIMers in their spring term as they hit their midterms week. However, a few of us die hards (high five!) made it out to the NW China Council tour of the Port of Portland. Big pat on the back for the three MIM full timers, Xintong “Jackie” Wang, Aui “Will” Vasa and Michael Mellein for making it to this event even with a 19-credit term. Likewise, a big pat on the back goes to first-year part time student, Megan Dye, because she is taking 12 credits while holding a full time job (and yes, 12 credits is the norm for spring term for first year part timers – second year part timers can look forward to only seven credits).
The NW China Council arranged for a private tour of Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland complete with catered lunch, transportation by bus and parking reimbursement (credit worth $12). Most NW China Council events cost only $15 for students, $20 for NW China Council members and $35 for general public. MIM students appreciate that the NW China Council arranged for four MIM students to attend this tour free of charge.
There were approximately 30 people attending the event from NW China Council board members such as Paul Millius of China Consultants Northwest, Michael Bloom of Sinotech, Elsa Porter of The Meridian International Institute, to a mixture of Portland State University undergraduate, graduate students and staff from the Office of International Affairs, as well as business professionals that do business both locally and internationally.
The event started with a very informative lecture and PowerPoint presentation by Barry Horowitz, Principal of CMS Consulting Services LLC. Horowitz’s former positions include General Manager of Container Marketing at the Port of Portland and Director of Transportation at Nike. Horowitz discussed the history of container shipping, the types of container ships that Portland gets, importance of trade to Oregon and its economic impact, top international traders with Portland, and what one will find in each of the Port of Portland Terminals.
Following Horowitz’s lecture the group boarded a bus and drove out to Terminal 6 where Horowitz shared interesting (and quite amazing) stories about container shipping issues. MIMers got to see Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China last month on their Asia Trip (AKA 1-credit Asia Study Tour). And last summer I have also had the opportunity to visit the Port of Guangzhou in Guangzhou, China through PSU’s Graduate Business School’s Summer Study Abroad program. It is very cool to be able to compare ports across the world. The Port of Portland tour led by Horowitz was an extremely informative tour highlighted by the fact that the tour bus drove right through Terminal 6, so we had a great view of containers, cranes, trains and ships. We were also very fortunate that there happened to be three ships in port and since we arrived after lunch we were able to see the Port in action.
If you ever have the opportunity to take a tour of the Port of Portland with Barry Horowitz, I would highly recommend it. He is a wealth of information and is an excellent speaker. The Q&A session on the bus ride back to the Port of Portland Headquarters was quite interesting as Horowitz, who has an extensive background in his area of expertise, was quite candid with his responses to the thought-provoking questions from the tour participants.