Friday, February 15, 2019

Record Box Numbers in San Pedro

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation’s two busiest seaports, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, posted record or near record cargo numbers last month, the ports announced Wednesday.

Los Angeles had its busiest January ever, moving 852,449 TEUs, a 5.4 percent increase from the same period last year. It also represents the seventh straight month in which the port moves more than 800,000 TEUs.

"These robust volumes reflect the pre-Lunar New Year surge of cargo, continued tariff-related inventory advances and strong consumer demand,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With warehouses and distribution centers already full with spring goods and supplies, we will see softer volumes immediately after the Lunar New Year as anticipated.” The port handled 429,923 TEUs in imports, a 1.7 percent increase from January 2018, while it moved 144,993 TEUs in exports, a 3.4 percent drop for the same period.

Meanwhile, Long Beach tallied 657,286 TEUs, 0.1 percent lower than January 2018, which stands as the port’s busiest January. “It’s encouraging to see these healthy volumes to start the year,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “As long as the economy is performing well, we expect our container trade to mirror it. Regardless, the Port will continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, working with ocean carriers, terminals, truckers, labor, cargo owners and all of our many stakeholders.”

Long Beach also registered 323,838 TEUs in imports a 0.3 percent decrease compare to January 2018 and 117,288 TEUs in exports, a 2.7 percent drop.

“While it will be a challenge to top last year, when we moved the most cargo in our 108-year history, we do anticipate modest growth in 2019,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “The Commission would like to wish our supply chain partners in Asia a happy Lunar New Year, and prosperous months ahead.”

Bellingham, Lummi Reach Accord

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham and Lummi Nation announced on Wednesday, Feb. 13 that they have reached a landmark agreement that will go a long way in settling long-standing issues that have affected the Lummi Nation’s fishing grounds and stations.

In the region’s early days before the port existed, white settlers began dredging Bellingham Bay and Drayton Harbor for development, a move that ruined “valuable finfish and shellfish habitat and created a permanent obstruction to Lummi fishing areas protected by the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855 with the Federal Government,” according to the port, which now owns/operated the areas affected by these changes.

Instead of going to court, the port and the Lummi Nation decided to work on an agreement, allowing the port to maintain and upgrade its in-water facilities while providing the Lummi Nation with vessel moorage in Squalicum and Blaine Harbors for their fishing fleet.

“This agreement sets the stage for a new era of cooperation and economic prosperity. The port and Lummi Nation are working collaboratively to not only increase the number of salmon in local waters, but to also increase public understanding of the Lummi Nation’s treaty rights and cultural heritage,” noted the port.

Marina Wins Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles-owned and Westrec Marinas-operated Cabrillo Way Marina has earned a 2018 Boaters’ Choice Award by marinas.com. The announcement was made Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The Boaters’ Choice Awards are based on audience reviews posted on marinas.com. Boaters praised the Cabrillo Way Marina’s helpful staff, cleanliness, new docks, and ease and accessibility of the slips.

“Marinas are the very first point of visibility and experience for most boaters,” said Westrec President Bill Anderson. “Setting a high bar to ensure their experience keeps them coming back and out on the water is one of Westrec’s primary mandates.”

Located south of 22nd and Miner streets, the 700-slip Cabrillo Way Marina encompasses 87 acres of land and water in the West Channel/Cabrillo Beach Recreational Complex, which includes a public waterfront promenade.

The $147.6 million marina was completed in 2011 and represented the port’s biggest non-terminal construction project at the time.

“Between 2005 and 2025 the Port of Los Angeles is investing more than $1 billion in the LA Waterfront, with approximately $700 million already spent,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The Cabrillo Way Marina is a great example of how that investment continues to provide significant benefits to the community.”

USCG Fatality

By Karen Robes Meeks

A member of the US Coast Guard assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory (WLB-212) died Jan. 31 shortly after an accident at the Coast Guard buoy yard in Homer, Alaska.

A crane accident occurred while Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski, 35, from Mahopac, New York, was working in the buoy yard.

Emergency responders performed CPR on Kozloski before he was taken to South Peninsula Hospital, where he died.

“It’s with great sadness that we announce the passing of a devoted shipmate, husband and father following this tragic accident,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., Coast Guard 17th District commander. “Chief Warrant Officer Kozloski faithfully served his country for over 17 years and we are forever grateful for his steadfast devotion to duty and sacrifices.”

The Coast Guard is investigating the accident.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Input Solicited on Long Beach Harbor Improvements

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and the US Army Corps of Engineers are asking the public to weigh in on potential environmental issues related to harbor improvements.

The public will be able to comment on the Port of Long Beach Deep Draft Navigation Feasibility Study and Channel Deepening Project environmental impact statement and a study on the project’s “economic benefits, costs, increased transportation efficiencies and improved navigational safety,” according to the port.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Board Room of the port’s Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive in Long Beach, Calif.

Written comments can be sent to ceqa@polb.com or mailed to the Director of Environmental Planning, Port of Long Beach, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815. Feedback must be received by 4 p.m. on March 1, 2019.

For more, visit www.polb.com/ceqa.

New Cruise Lines for San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last week, the Port of San Diego welcomed two European cruise lines that made their inaugural calls to the port, a sign that the “cruise business is bouncing back,” the port announced.

The 964-foot-long, 3,000-passenger MSC Magnifica arrived Feb. 5 as part of a 118-day global cruise visiting two dozen countries. On Feb. 8, German Cruise Line Phoenix Reisen’s 757-foot-long, 1,260-passenger Artania stopped in San Diego during its 116-day global cruise. Both trips started in Genoa, Italy, and are making their way along the California coast.

“The Port of San Diego is proud to welcome MSC Magnifica and the Phoenix Reisen Artania on their inaugural visits,” said Garry Bonelli, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “These Port calls highlight the diversity of our cruise line customers and strengthen San Diego’s reputation as a world-class destination for vacations.”

The port expects about 92 cruise calls and nearly 300,000 passengers in fiscal year 2019-2020.

Olympia Gains New Citizen Advisors

By Karen Robes Meeks

Three new members have joined the Port of Olympia Commission’s Citizens Advisory Committee: Kevin Decker, Chris Richardson and Tom Szymoniak.

“I am impressed by the number of motivated and qualified members of our community willing to give their time and knowledge to assist the commissioners with issues and opportunities that chart the future of our port,” said Port Commissioner Bill McGregor.

Formed in 1994, the Citizens Advisory Committee is made up of nine to 13 volunteer residents who gather monthly to address commission assignment, which includes various port programs and projects such as the ferry study, fuel dock report, public participation report, port cargoes report, port renaming, comprehensive plan land use plan update, new market industrial campus development alternatives study, commission redistricting, marine fuel dock public participation, small cities program report, and naming convention and protocols.