Friday, February 28, 2020

San Pedro Bay Ports to Collaborate

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders for the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach signed a memorandum of understanding that would allow the twin ports to work together on issues related to cargo movement efficiency, connectivity, workforce development, cybersecurity and metrics.

“Our two ports are the fastest way to move goods between Asia and US markets and manufacturers,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The kind of cooperation that will flow from this agreement ensures we will continue to be the most efficient gateway for shippers.”

The twin ports will collaborate with those in the supply chain to address operational issues that could help them become more efficient and realize more savings while boosting business flow, security and sustainability.

“America’s two largest and most competitive ports have a long and successful history of collaborating on key issues,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This agreement significantly expands these efforts and underscores our shared commitment to lead and succeed.”

Port of Vancouver USA Launches Lecture Series

By Karen Robes Meeks

Next month, the Port of Vancouver USA will launch its annual Lecture Series with Port Chief Commercial Officer Alex Strogen ”Doing Business with the World” address.

Strogen will discuss the port’s marine division, efforts to diversify its cargo business and the importance of the Columbia River for trade. He will also talk about the significance of the port’s relationship abroad and forecast the future of relations between the U.S. and China.

The free public event will take place on March 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Warehouse ’23 Event Space, 100 Columbia Street in Vancouver, Wash. Pre-registration is required since space is limited. To register, call 360-693-3611 or email RSVP@portvanusa.com with your name and the number of attendees.

Port of Oakland Nets A Ratings on Bonds

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland recently received A ratings from Fitch Ratings on its bonds, including an A+ rating for $622 million in senior lien revenue bonds, an A rating for $181.9 million in intermediate lien revenue bonds, and an A rating for underlying bank bonds for the Port's commercial paper (CP) notes.

According to the port, the ratings were given based “on the strength of the port’s sizable origin and destination enplanement base and financial stability provided by long-term seaport contracts supporting cargo operations within a large, economically diverse and wealthy San Francisco Bay Area market.” A strong balance sheet, high debt service coverage ratios, and diverse revenue streams were also taken into account.

Port of Long Beach Presents Pulse of the Ports

By Karen Robes Meeks

A panel of experts from the maritime industry are expected to share their thoughts and present their forecasts at the Port of Long Beach’s 2020 Pulse of the Ports – Peak Season Forecast next month.

The port has not yet released the list of speakers for the annual gathering that will take place on March 25 at The Westin’s Centennial Ballroom, 333 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, Calif. The event will include free breakfast and parking and an opportunity for networking starting at 7:30 a.m. The official program will start at 8:15 a.m.

Those who can’t attend in person can join the meeting online through the live webcast by going to polb.com/pulse. Reservations are required for the event. Contact the Port's Business Development Division at 562-283-7750 or email BDEvents@polb.com to reserve your spot. Visit www.polb.com/pulse for more information.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Port of Grays Harbor Commission Approves Nine Lease Assignments

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nine leases held by Masco Petroleum, Inc. will go to PetroCard, Inc. The Port of Grays Harbor Commission approved the assignment at a special commission meeting Feb. 18.

Masco has been a tenant at the port providing card lock facilities, bulk fuel delivery, lubricant distribution and marine fueling services in the peninsula since 1999. Kent-based PetroCard anticipates closing on its acquisition of Masco assets by the end of this month, according to the port.

“We entertained this acquisition offer from PetroCard because they run a business the way a business should be run, not like a [typical] corporation,” Masco Founder and President Jim Mason told the port. “Employment in Grays Harbor is important to them, just like it is important to us.”

PetroCard runs over 60 card lock facilities in Washington and Oregon.

“We see Masco’s operation as a great fit for our network and look forward to maintaining the local knowledge and relationships they have established throughout the Olympic Peninsula,” said PetroCard President and CEO Laura Yellig.

Revised Canada-US Marine Pollution Contingency Plan Signed

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Feb. 19, US and Canadian Coast Guard officials signed an updated version of the Dixon Entrance Annex to the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan in Juneau, Alaska.

The refreshed annex signed by US Coast Guard 17th District Commander Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell, Jr., and the Canadian Coast Guard Western Region Assistant Commissioner Roger Girouard includes basic content and format changes in accordance with new national guidelines. It also provides clearer pollution notification and response protocols as well as refreshed references to US Customs Service procedures for transboundary movement of personnel and resources.

Since 1983, both countries have abided by the CAN-US Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan, which encompasses five geographic annexes and spells out the scope and terms for planning and coordinating responses to transboundary pollution in the maritime domain. Coast Guard 17th District and its Canadian counterpart collaborate to keep up with two of the annexes: Annex 4 (Beaufort Sea) and Annex 5 (Dixon Entrance).

Port of Los Angeles Christens New Patrol Vessel

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles Police recently welcomed the arrival of its new 43-foot patrol and dive vessel. It will aid the specialized dive team operations and overall patrol around the port.

“Policing and ensuring the flow of commerce in America’s busiest port is a daunting task,” Port Police Chief Thomas Gazsi said at the boat’s christening. “It requires the best personnel, exceptional training programs, exceptional allied partners… and the best possible equipment to accomplish those missions and support our personnel in those endeavors.”

“This new vessel accomplishes that,” Gazsi said. The 28-ton vessel features night vision, wireless communications, advanced navigation as well as nuclear, chemical and biological detection equipment.