Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Port of Everett Gains New Tenant

Space company Off Planet Research, LLC has inked a new lease with the Port of Everett for 2,156 square feet of space at the former Ameron pole manufacturing site, the port announced Monday.

The firm, which makes “manufactured soils and ice to emulate extra-terrestrial planets, and provides a laboratory testing environment and materials to ensure equipment durability despite abrasive lunar dust,” will open next month on the property along West Marine View Drive between 10th and 13th streets.

"OPR is excited to be making the move to the Port of Everett," said Melissa Roth, OPR co-owner and lead researcher. "We are looking forward to meeting and working with local companies, including those outside the traditional space and aerospace sector.”

Off Planet’s move to Everett marks the beginning of a vision by the port to reimagine the eight-acre former brownfield site into the new Maritime, Exploration and Innovation Complex, a job space dedicated to blue economies.

The port plans to have as many as five mid-sized companies at the complex, which could generate 293 new jobs on site and another 250 indirect jobs.

“OPR’s decision to locate in our emerging Maritime, Exploration and Innovation Complex marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the Port of Everett and Snohomish County,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “We are thrilled that OPR’s work creates new synergies with local instrumentation developers and offers diversity to the local economy and new job opportunities for the county’s large advanced manufacturing workforce.”

Matson Releases Preliminary Q1 Results

 Ahead of its first quarter earnings call set for April 27, Matson, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox recently said the company’s 2021 is “off to a strong start” with solid performance from Ocean Transportation and Logistics.

"Within Ocean Transportation, our China service continued to see significant demand for its CLX (China-Long Beach Express) and CLX+ expedited ocean services as volume for e-commerce and other high demand goods remained elevated, which resulted in very strong pre- and post-Lunar New Year volumes,” he said. “Our financial performance in the China service was the primary driver of the increase in consolidated operating income year-over-year.”

He predicted that ongoing supply chain congestion, particularly at the California ports, will likely continue through the second quarter and peak season.

“We also expect demand in the Transpacific trade lane to remain favorable as elevated consumption trends, including heightened e-commerce activity, are expected to continue beyond the second quarter,” Cox explained. “Consequently, we expect significant demand for our expedited CLX and CLX+ services to remain throughout the peak season into late October.”

LA Port Promenade Project Progresses

The $70.8 million Wilmington Waterfront Promenade project near the Port of Los Angeles is well underway, with a 2023 completion anticipated, officials have revealed.

Since breaking ground in October, crews have been hard at work on the project, which calls for a new community park near the Banning’s Landing Community Center, as well as a waterfront promenade, public pier, public dock for commercial boats, a 2,500-sq. ft. space for commercial development and Water Street upgrades, according to the port.

“The whole team at the port has done a wonderful job on the Wilmington Waterfront project, made themselves available to the community throughout the planning process and really listened to suggestions and ideas,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares. “After many years of hard work, we can really see this project starting to come together.”

Meanwhile, the Avalon Promenade & Gateway, which complements the Waterfront Project, is in the design phase, with construction of Phase One to begin in 2023. When completed, the $23.8 million first phase is expected to include a new pedestrian bridge along Avalon Boulevard. Phase Two involves linking Avalon Boulevard to the waterfront, and features an entry plaza and new public space.

“The Wilmington Waterfront Promenade and upcoming Avalon Promenade & Gateway are so important in connecting the Wilmington community with its historic waterfront,” said port Director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate Mike Galvin. “These two projects will create more open space for recreational activities and provide tremendous economic benefits by activating the Avalon Corridor and Wilmington’s commercial core.”

Port of Long Beach Awards Asthma Project Grants

 Local medical groups will receive nearly $3.7 million in grants from the Port of Long Beach’s Community Grants Program to offer asthma assistance to underserved communities.

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services will administer the $3 million port grant for The Children's Clinic, St. Mary Medical Center, and the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, which will unite to serve as much of the community as possible with little overlap.

Pools of Hope has said that it will use its $649,195 port grant to partner with the LAC+USC Breathmobile on a mobile clinic unit that will visit school children in North Long Beach, Compton and Paramount.

“These selections ensure our funding will impact the maximum number of people, which is a fundamental goal of the Community Grants Program,” said Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We would like to thank the advisory committee and port staff who work hard to administer our efforts to improve air quality impacts on those affected by goods movement.”

Friday, April 16, 2021

Port of Los Angeles Boasts Record Cargo

The Port of Los Angeles last month posted its busiest March and best first quarter ever, according to data released this week.

The nation’s busiest seaport handled 957,599 TEUs, a 113% jump from the same time last year, giving the port its biggest year-over-year increase in a given month, data show.

The port moved 490,115 TEUs in imports last month, a 123% spike from March 2020, while it handled 122,899 TEUs in loaded exports, a 1.5% year-over-year increase. Empty containers, which have been in high demand in Asia, soared 219% from March 2020 with 344,585 TEUs.

“As more Americans get vaccinated, businesses reopen and the economy strengthens, consumers continue to purchase goods at a dizzying pace,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I applaud our longshore labor force, truckers, terminal operators and supply chain partners who are working day and night to process the additional cargo.

Overall, the port has seen 44% more cargo this year so far when compared to the same time last year.

“Collectively, we have been able to significantly reduce the amount of container vessels awaiting offshore,” said Seroka. “I’m also proud of the steady progress being made to vaccinate waterfront workers at the port’s on-site location and elsewhere.”

NOAA Selects Contractor for Alaska Port Facility Upgrade

Alaska-based firm Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies, LLC has been chosen to work on NOAA’s port facility improvement project in Ketchikan, Alaska, the agency announced.

Ahtna was awarded the $18,771,041 contract to remove the current pier and related buildings and accomplish a number of upgrades, which include building a new office, large floating pier, steel access trestle and upgraded utility systems to serve ships.

“This NOAA port revitalization project is a great example of building back better by investing in modern and sustainable infrastructure,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The improvements to NOAA’s Ketchikan facility will enable the agency to support safe navigation and commerce in Alaska and the region more effectively than ever.”

When the project is finished in December 2022, NOAA will have an Alaskan homeport to support Ketchikan-based NOAA ship Fairweather and other visiting ships.

“We look forward to serving Alaska and the nation from this greatly improved facility,” said Rear Adm. Nancy Hann, deputy director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. “This represents a major milestone in NOAA’s effort to recapitalize the agency’s fleet and supporting infrastructure.”

Port of Seattle OKs Funds for Pier 86 Study

Funds for a cost and feasibility study to restore the Pier 86 Public Fishing Pier has been approved by the Port of Seattle Commission.

The study, to be performed jointly with the Expedia Group and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will look into what it will take to rebuild the pier with a “ferry float” to transport commuters locally and to the Expedia Campus, which opened near Pier 86.

Expedia Group is contributing $250,000, while the Department of Fish and Wildlife is providing to $167,000 to help fund the study.

“It is critical that we determine the best path forward to returning this great public benefit back to the Seattle waterfront for greater access that provides public equity,” said Port Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck. “By taking the time to study the engineering demands and construction costs of a new pier, we can best steward our public and private funds so the public has the confidence that we have used these resources wisely and will benefit everyone.”

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is excited about the public/private partnership which will bring back public fishing to Pier 86, a high priority for the department since the facility closed in 2018, said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife North Puget Sound Regional Director Brendan Brokes.

“We look forward to seeing this project along for public benefit,” Brokes said.

The study will eventually come before the commission for review, with Site Analysis and Design and Project Budget work to be finished by July. Permit documents and implementing agreements could be done by January 2022 if partners agree to move forward, the port said.