Friday, January 18, 2019

Cook Inlet to Buy Crowley Assets

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge has inked an asset purchase agreement with Crowley Vessel Sales Group, allowing Cook Inlet to acquire all of Crowley’s Prudhoe Bay, Alaska assets, which include tugs, barges, heavy machinery and other vehicles and equipment, the company recently announced.

The move will allow Cook Inlet, a Foss Maritime Co. independent subsidiary, to augment its operations in Alaska.

“These assets are already positioned on the North Slope,” said Foss President and CEO John Parrott. “They are operationally ready to perform shallow draft tug and barge services and offer us the opportunity to expand our Alaska operations.”

The assets are made for the North Slope and have only operated in the area.

“The shallow draft design of the vessels makes them ideal to service the North Slope and Western Alaska Markets,” said CITB Sr. Business Development Director, Mike O’Shea. “In addition, the vessels are all in excellent condition.” To streamline its operation, Cook Inlet Tug & Barge intends to focus on marine equipment and working with established shoreside service providers in Prudhoe Bay.

“CITB is excited about the addition of this fleet,” Parrott said. “We look forward to working with companies on the North Slope and providing leaner options to the oil and gas industry.”

Port of Los Angeles Breaks Cargo Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles announced Wednesday that it broke its cargo volume record last year after handling more than 9.4 million TEUs.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 9,458,749 TEUs, beating by 1.2 percent its 2017 numbers, which held the record for most cargo moved in port history.

Last month’s figures helped put Los Angeles’ number over the top. the port handled 903,258 TEUs, a 15.9 percent increase from the same period last year, making it the busiest December ever for the port.

It also builds upon six straight months of 800,000-plus TEUs of cargo movement.

“Los Angeles is open for business and engaged with the world — and now, we have another record year at the Port of Los Angeles to show for it,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our port helps make LA a global hub for commerce, and it continues to drive our economy forward by creating jobs and expanding opportunity across the City.”

Last year was “marked by a robust economy coupled with tariff-induced surges of cargo headed to US retail and manufacturing sectors,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka.

“These extraordinary volumes highlight the need for continued stakeholder collaboration on methods to maximize supply chain efficiency,” Seroka said. “Through a number of initiatives, we are focused on both physical and digital infrastructure enhancements that continue to ensure the reliable, safe and efficient conveyance of cargo through our gateway.”

Redwood City Moves More Cargo

By Karen Robes Meeks

In the first half of its fiscal year running from July 1 to Dec. 31, the Port of Redwood City moved 1.36 million metric tons of cargo, 150,000 metric tons more than a year ago.

The cargo movement generated $4.78 million in port revenue, $470,000 more than the previous period.

“The port’s mid-year results continue to lay a strong foundation for both cargo and revenue growth,” said Port Commission Chair Lorianna Kastrop. “Nearly half a million dollars better than our best year in operational history is quite an accomplishment and furthers our maritime and economic development goals serving Silicon Valley.”

The port anticipates strong results for the rest of fiscal year 2019 from construction materials, a top-ranking port import, according to Kastrop, adding that construction industry trends point to ongoing growth over the next five years. “These positive maritime trade results allow us to support the local Redwood City community through an annual payment (or subvention) to support city services and activate recreational waterfront uses,” she said.

The port’s fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30.

Bowman Takes Seattle Commission Presidency

By Karen Robes Meeks

Stephanie Bowman is the Port of Seattle Commission President for 2019.Fred Felleman will serve as Commission Vice-President and Peter Steinbrueck as Commission Secretary.

“I look forward to continuing the progress the Port of Seattle made in delivering projects to support trade and transportation, expand workforce development and protect the environment,” said Bowman. “We have much to work on this year, ensuring that economic growth and our programs are helping people across King County and the state of Washington.”

The commission will provide oversight for a more than $2 billion investment in facilities upgrades at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and plans to fund the port’s major maritime infrastructure efforts.

According to the port, priorities for 2019 include identifying partners for a new cruise terminal and working with the Northwest Seaport Alliance to finalize a commercial deal for Terminal 5 as it becomes ‘big ship ready’

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Washington Governor Launches Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Blue Strategy kicked off Jan. 8 at Pier 66, where stakeholders met to discuss an effort to grow the regional economy through sustainable innovation by 2050. Leveraging business, academic, port, labor and community partnerships will be key to the strategy’s success.

"I welcome the opportunity to support the development and implementation of Governor Inslee's Maritime Blue Strategy representing the Port of Seattle on the Innovation Advisory Council," said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who served as a member of the Maritime Blue Advisory Committee.

“The Port is committed to creating a competitive maritime gateway, based on industry and labor prospering while decreasing their carbon intensity and environmental footprint,” he said. “There is no better region in the nation to lead this effort than the Pacific Northwest where our maritime heritage runs deep and the spirit of innovation is part of our cultural fabric."

The Maritime Blue strategy includes the development of a Maritime Innovation Center, a business incubator space being considered for Fishermen’s Terminal, and a push to bring shore power to maritime facilities.

Nichols to Build High Speed Ferries

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders recently signed a contract with Bremerton, Washington-based Kitsap Transit to design and construct two new high-speed passenger-only ferries, with an option for a third.

The new ferries, which will each carry 250 passengers and 26 bicycles, will augment Kitsap’s Kingston service and add service to Southworth in 2020.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to work with Kitsap Transit on the development and implementation of this new transportation system networking the Olympic Peninsula with Seattle,” said Nichols Brothers CEO Gavin Higgins.

“Using Puget Sound as a water highway to reduce the Seattle metro traffic congestion and expand housing market with very reasonable travel times is a great model for the other counties around Seattle to follow.”

Carnival Long Beach Terminal Wins Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Carnival Cruise Line’s Long Beach Cruise Terminal was recently named Most Improved Cruise Terminal as part of the Porthole Cruise Magazine’s annual Editor-in-Chief Awards. Winners will be featured in the publication’s January issue.

Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff picked the winners “based on his personal experiences with various cruise operators throughout the year,” according to the Carnival Cruise press release.

Last year, the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which Carnival opened in 2003, went through a massive multi-million-dollar makeover that more than doubled the size of the facility housed inside the former Spruce Goose dome. The new 142,000-square-foot facility features a mural of the Sierra Mountain and other natural elements native to California, a starry night sky ceiling and retro 1980s-style arcade games.

“The Long Beach Cruise Terminal has always been a very popular homeport for Carnival Cruise Line, and we could not be more elated to see this stunning facility recognized for its jaw-dropping renovation,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Thousands upon thousands of satisfied guests sail from Long Beach each year, and we can’t wait to welcome the new Carnival Panorama to Southern California later this year.”

Carnival, which runs three year-round ships from Long Beach, is growing operations this year with the new Carnival Panorama joining Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration in December for seven-day Mexican Riviera sailings. This trio is anticipated to carry 600,000 passengers annually from Long Beach, according to Carnival.