Tuesday, October 20, 2020

NOAA to No Longer Make Tide Tables,
Tide Current Tables Printed Publications

NOAA is no longer producing the annual Tide Tables and Tidal Current Tables publications and is replacing them with online services.

Since 1867, NOAA has produced a series of printed publications to provide annual tide predictions or annual tidal current predictions for locations along the coast. The six annual publications affected are:
  1. Tide Tables, East Coast of North and South America Including Greenland
  2. Tide Tables, Europe and West Coast of Africa Including the Mediterranean Sea
  3. Tide Tables, Central and Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean
  4. Tide Tables, West Coast of North and South America Including the Hawaiian Islands
  5. Tidal Current Tables, Atlantic Coast of North America
  6. Tidal Current Tables, Pacific Coast of North America and Asia

They are being replaced by online services: NOAA Tide Predictions https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/tide_predictions.html and NOAA Current Predictions https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaacurrents/Regions.

The online services provide users with as much or better predictions than their printed counterparts. For example, online services can calculate predictions on demand with the newest data available for a station. Also, new stations can be added on quarterly, instead of waiting once a year to be added, according to the agency.

The online services also allow for far more space for stations, offering over 1,200 tide stations and nearly 1,000 currents stations at which predictions are created from harmonic constants.

With the online services, NOAA will be able to create predictions for at least two calendar years, while printed versions could predict one year into the future. Online versions can also offer predictions for past dates for research, legal, and other uses.

Users can also customize predictions with the online services to tailor them to their preferences, including time zone, units and datum to which heights are referenced.

Port of Coos Bay Nets Grant for Rail Line

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay will be awarded a federal transportation grant of almost $10 million to improve the Coos Bay Rail Line, the port announced earlier this month.

The grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure and Development Program, will allow the port to “replace approximately 67,000 crossties and resurface main line, sidings, an industrial lead, rail yard and spur tracks with ballast along the 121 miles of track that stretches from Eugene to Coos Bay, Oregon,” according to the port.

Port CEO John Burns thanked Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio for their efforts, adding that their support was critical in receiving the grant.

“Their continued efforts, support, and advocacy have been paramount to the CBRL’s improvement and success,” he said.

Meanwhile, the port has been working on other improvements to the rail line. At the end of this month, the port is expected to finish the $19.5 million Tunnel Rehabilitation Project, a federal and state-funded project that involved structural and track repairs and drainage work in the real line’s nine tunnels. The port is also planning to fully replace two steel bridges, and significantly repair 13 bridges, including three swing span bridges.

Port of Oakland Posts Best September for Imports

The Port of Oakland saw its best September for fully loaded imported cargo last month with 93,916 TEUs, 10.6 percent more than September 2019, which previously held the best September record with 84,901 TEUs, according to new numbers released Oct. 14.

Meanwhile, the port saw a 5 percent increase in exports from the same time a year ago with 75,674 TEUs.

Overall cargo numbers in September were up 9.3 percent to 225,809 year over year, according to the port.

Retailers preparing for the holiday shopping season and demand for consumer goods and pandemic-related products such as PPEs are contributing to a record-shattering month for imports, the port said.

“Several months into this pandemic, we are now seeing positive signs by these cargo volume totals,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “As retailers make sure shelves are well-stocked, we’re waiting to see if consumers begin shopping early this holiday season.” The port said it is seeing retailers girding themselves for a potential wave of COVID-19 this winter and are stocking up in the event of factory closures and lockdowns.

L.A. Harbor Commissioner Nominated
for Volunteerism

Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares has been nominated for the 2020 Los Angeles Business Journal Volunteer of the Year award, part of the publication’s annual Women’s Leadership Series and Awards.

Moreno-Linares, who was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2017, is chair of the Wilmington YMCA Council of Managers, and serves on the boards of the L.A. County Small Business Commission and the District Business Commission.

She has volunteered her time with the Wilmington Neighborhood Council, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Harbor Watts Economic Development Corporation and Wilmington Senior Citizen Center Task Force. In the early 1990s, she founded Wilmington Business Watch and Vecinos Unidos Neighborhood Watch.

“Whether in business or through volunteerism, Commissioner Moreno-Linares demonstrates every day what true leadership and compassion can be, giving selflessly of her time and talent to so many organizations and causes,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee. “I’m very proud to serve alongside her on the Harbor Commission and have the privilege of calling her my friend and colleague.”

Friday, October 16, 2020

Maritime Admin Warns Mariners of Possible
GPS Interference

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is alerting mariners that major GPS interference is being reported throughout the world, including possibly unreliable “bridge navigation, GPS-based timing and communication equipment.”

Much of this reporting is coming from the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, and several ports in China, according to the agency. Vessels reported 37 instances of GPS interference while in the Mediterranean Sea, with 22 reports originating near Egypt.

Before embarking out to sea, mariners are encouraged to visit the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center or the NATO Shipping Center websites for ways on how to best navigate in the event of GPS interference, including reporting the interference as it’s happening, making note of the latitude/longitude, date, time, how long the outage/disruption lasted and other vital informaiton; and taking pictures or screen shots of equipment failures.

Call 703-313-5900 or go to https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=gpsUserInput to report any GPS disruptions.

Matson Performed Well in Third Quarter Amid Pandemic

Despite ongoing challenges related to COVID-19, Matson, Inc. performed well in the third quarter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox announced.

"Our China service, consisting of the CLX and CLX+ services, was the primary driver of the increase in consolidated operating income year-over-year as a result of strong demand for our expedited ocean services and ongoing challenges in the transpacific air freight markets,” Cox said in a statement. “I am confident that we can make the CLX+ a permanent service because of Matson's 15-year track record of operating our industry leading expedited CLX service in the transpacific trade lane, the introduction of our new Alaska-to-Asia Express (AAX) service for Alaska seafood exports to Asia as part of the CLX+ westbound return trip to China, and the likelihood of continued favorable transpacific trade lane supply and demand dynamics going forward."

He added that in other core tradelanes, Matson saw an improvement in freight volume in each of the tradelanes from the second quarter amid the height of the pandemic as freight demand got better as local economies reopened.

Although ongoing tourism restrictions and a second shelter-in-place order in the later part of the third quarter affected demand for freight, Hawaii volume reached the level achieved in the previous year quarter, he said. Matson also saw “modestly higher year-over-year volume growth” in Alaska and Guam, while Logistics operating income rose year-over-year.

Port of L.A. Saw Busiest September

The Port of Los Angeles saw its busiest September and quarter ever, according to new cargo numbers released Wednesday.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 883,625 TEUs last month, 13.3 percent more than September 2019. This past quarter, the port handled more than 2.7 million TEUs.

“Despite unresolved questions about our nation’s health, economy and export strength, imports have improved significantly after a difficult spring,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I commend our longshore labor force, Los Angeles marine terminal operators, truckers and supply chain stakeholders who continue to rise to the challenge throughout this pandemic.”

The port also moved 17.3 percent more imports last month compared to the same time last year with 471,795 TEUs. Meanwhile, exports dipped 0.3 percent to 130,397 TEUs. Empty containers rose 14 percent to 281,434 TEUs. The 883,625 TEUs in total eclipsed the previous September record of 801,264 set in 2018.