Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Long Beach Containers Down Over Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last month, the Port of Long Beach moved 663,992 TEUs, 2.3 percent less than it did in August 2018, according to recent numbers released by the port.

Imports in August fell 5.9 percent to 322,780 TEUs, while exports jumped 4.5 percent to 124,975 TEUs from the same period a year ago. Empty containers dipped 0.3 percent to 216,238 TEUs.

Long Beach has handled more than 4.9 million TEUs so far this year, 6.6 percent less than during the same eight-month span in 2018, a record year for the port. It was, nevertheless, the fifth busiest August in the port’s history.

“These results are strong for any North American seaport, but lag behind our record high numbers last year, when retailers shipped goods to beat expected tariffs,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are still on track for one of our busiest years ever and our focus remains on delivering efficiency and reliability as we await the swift resolution of the US-China trade dispute,” he added.

International trade has continued and will continue to evolve, said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

“Our focus as policy makers for the Port must be long-term, and our future as the primary gateway for trans-Pacific commerce remains very positive,” she said. “We are investing billions in efficient and sustainable cargo movement to serve the needs of the supply chain today and decades from now.”

Road Closure to Affect Port of Everett Access

By Karen Robes Meeks

For 10 days starting Sept. 17, West Marine View Drive will be closed to make way for the city of Everett’s Grand Avenue Park Bridge project. Interwest Construction Inc. will shut down all five lanes of West Marine View Drive between 13th and 18th streets to vehicular traffic between Sept. 17 through Sept. 26.

The closure will allow Interwest to conduct its final alignment of the bridge.

Drivers wanting to access the South Marina, Port Gardner Landing, Marina Village and all businesses and facilities in these areas must approach from the south.

Those planning to head to the Central Marina, North Marina, Boat Launch and all businesses and facilities in these areas must approach from the north.

Pedestrian access will also be affected around the construction area.

For more details, visit everettwa.gov/gapb or contact the city directly at 425-257-7206 or hgriffin@everettwa.gov.

Oakland Volumes Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland kicked off its peak season with volume growth.

Imports in August rose 3.1 percent to 88,323 TEUs – the port’s busiest August for imports – while exports inched up 1 percent to 75,080 TEUs from the same period a year ago. It represents the sixth consecutive month of export gains. Meanwhile, empty containers fell 14 percent.

Oakland is crediting August’s numbers to strong U.S. consumer demand for the rise in imports and overseas demand for American farm goods for the export increase.

“It’s good to see volume trending in the right direction,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Let’s see now if we can keep it going through the fall.”

New Redwood City Port Commission Chair

By Karen Robes Meeks

Commissioner Ralph Garcia will serve as chairman of the board of the Port of Redwood City’s Port Commission. The announcement was made at the Sept. 11 meeting. He will be taking over for outgoing Chair Lorianna Kastrop.

First appointed to the port commission in 2005 and reappointed in 2007 and 2012, Garcia served more than a decade on the Redwood City Planning Commission, including a two-year term as chairman. He has owned Ralph’s Vacuum and Sewing Center in Redwood City for over four decades.

Commissioner Richard Claire will serve as the board’s vice chairman, while Commissioner R. Simms Duncan will fill the Board Secretary position. The board unanimously approved the election of the officers.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Long Beach Seeking Bids for Rail Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners agreed earlier this week to seek out construction bids for a planned rail project at the Port of Long Beach.

The Double Track Access from Pier G to J Project is expected to make cargo movement up to 25 percent more efficient by placing more cargo on rail as opposed to trucks.

The $25 million project, expected to be completed in 2021, will add a new 9,000-foot mainline track to help trains serve four terminals in the port’s south basin. The port will invest $11 million into the project, and a grant from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program will fund the rest.

“The Double Track Access from Pier G to J Project is part of our ongoing efforts to improve the Port so that Long Beach remains globally competitive and environmentally sustainable well into the future,” said Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

The commission is expected to award a construction contract by December.

Another Record for LA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has established a new single-month cargo record for the fifth month in a row, the port announced Tuesday.

Last month, the port handled 861,081 TEUs, a 4.2 percent jump from August 2018. It is the port’s busiest August in its 112-year history.

Imports rose 4.1 percent when compared to August 2018 reaching 437,613 TEUs. Exports fell 10 percent to 146,284 TEUs, the tenth straight month of decreases. Empties jumped 13.8 percent to 277,183 TEUs.

Eight months into 2019 and Los Angeles’ volumes are up 5.7 percent compared to the record year of 2018.

“Our strong volume growth this year is due in part to our global supply chain relationships, aggressive marketing and improvements in operational efficiencies,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We continue to build value with the Port Optimizer™, a digitization tool which increases visibility of incoming cargo and improves logistics planning and overall efficiency.”

Seroka added that the final months of 2018 ended with “an extraordinary influx of imports to beat expected tariffs on China-origin goods.”

“We don’t expect to see those kind of volumes in the months ahead,” he said. “We need a negotiated settlement of the U.S.-China trade war to restore global trade stability.”

Vancouver, USA Tours Serve 400

By Karen Robes Meeks

More than 400 people attended the Port of Vancouver USA’s tour season this past summer, which allowed the public to see port facilities up close. This year, there was a waitlist for the tours.

“At almost every tour people are amazed by the magnitude of business taking place at the port,” said Community Relations Manager Julie Rawls, who conducts each tour. “The most frequent comment I get from community members is that they had no idea this kind of activity was taking place right here in their own backyard.”

The tour consists of a presentation about the port and commodities that are imported and exported, followed by a guided bus tour of the port’s marine, rail and industrial operations.

Tours are expected to continue in 2020, with dates to be announced early next year.

Visit www.portvanusa.com/community/know-your-port for more information.