Portland's location is beneficial for several industries. Relatively low energy cost, accessible resources, north–south and east–west Interstates, international air terminals, large marine shipping facilities, and both west coast intercontinental railroads are all economic advantages. The U.S. consulting firm Mercer, in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Portland 42nd worldwide in quality of living; the survey factored in political stability, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of consumer goods, education, and public services including transportation. In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS MoneyWatch.
Adidas has its North America headquarters in the Overlook neighborhood.
The city's marine terminals alone handle over 13 million tons of cargo per year, and the port is home to one of the largest commercial dry docks in the country. The Port of Portland is the third largest export tonnage port on the west coast of the U.S., and being located about 80 miles (130 km) upriver, it is the largest fresh-water port. The city of Portland is largest shipper of wheat in the United States, and is the second largest port for wheat in the world.
The steel industry's history in Portland predates World War II. By the 1950s, the steel industry became the city's number one industry for employment. The steel industry thrives in the region, with Schnitzer Steel Industries, a prominent steel company, shipping a record 1.15 billion tons of scrap metal to Asia during 2003. Other heavy industry companies include ESCO Corporation and Oregon Steel Mills.