Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Another Cargo Record at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted record-shattering cargo numbers, moving more than 9.3 million TEUs in 2017, the most annual cargo handled by a port in the Western Hemisphere, Los Angeles port officials announced on January 12.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 9,343,192 TEUs, 5.5 percent more than in 2016, which was also a record-breaking year for Los Angeles.

“2017 was a year beyond expectations but it was not by chance,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our growth is a direct result of a concerted, multi-year effort by the port and its many partners to maximize efficiency throughout the supply chain. All the collaborative work by a broad range of global maritime stakeholders has delivered these remarkable results.”

The record-breaking year occurred despite a tepid December for cargo volumes. Imports dipped 2.2 percent to 385,492 TEUs and exports fell 7.3 percent to 152,865 TEUs when compared to December 2016. The port moved 779,210 TEUs in overall cargo last month, a 2.2 percent drop year over year.

But the port experienced tremendous growth in the months leading up to the end of 2017, which brought high-tech efficiency to Los Angeles in the form of a new Port Optimizer digital information portal. The portal, created in partnership with GE Transportation, gathers and organizes shipping information in a way that helps those in the supply chain better prepare for cargo arrivals.

Long Beach on Dock Rail Vote Expected

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Harbor Commission is expected to vote on the final document detailing the environmental impact of the Port of Long Beach’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility on January 22.

Located southwest of Anaheim Street and Interstate 710, the proposed Pacific Harbor Line-operated facility would enable the placement of more cargo directly on trains at marine terminals instead of using trucks to ferry that cargo, an environmental benefit, port officials said.

“Building longer trains within the Port would lessen local traffic congestion related to goods movement,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “This facility is vital to meet our environmental goals while helping us stay competitive and power the city’s economy.”

Visit www.polb.com/ceqa for more details on the Pier B project and final environment impact report.

New CFO for Harley Marine

By Karen Robes Meeks

Sterling Adlakha is Harley Marine Services’ new chief financial officer. The company chairman and CEO Harley Franco welcomed Adlakha to the executive team in an announcement made in October.

“Our past financial executive set the bar high for sustainable growth, with strong ethics, and a goal to prosper and diversify,” Franco said. “We are excited to have Sterling join the team and believe he will continue this legacy to get our company to the next level with his drive, focus, and experience.”

A US Coast Guard Academy graduate, Adlakha served 10 years with the Coast Guard before earning his MBA and international business diplomacy certificate from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

He worked in investment banking and equity research before coming to Kirby Corp., where he was corporate finance manager, director of investor relations and finance, and eventually vice president and chief financial officer of United Holdings LLC.

“I’m very excited to join such a fast-growing company at the leading edge of the industry in terms of technology and environmental stewardship,” Adlakha said. “Harley Marine is renowned for its track record in safety and great customer service and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to support the team as we continue to build upon this record of success.”

Volunteers Needed for Olympia Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia is in need of applicants for its Volunteer Harbor Patrol Program, which helps to provide safety and security to visitors of the Marine Terminal, Swantown Marina & Boatworks and the waterfront.

The unpaid work involves promoting boater education safety, special event patrols and ship escorts, assisting in emergency response situations such as search and rescue, distressed vessels, emergency medical services and fire responses.

Eligible candidates must be 21 years old, have a Washington State driver’s license, be a US citizen or have the legal right to reside in the US, graduated high school or have completed GED requirements, have no felony convictions, no misdemeanor convictions within the previous five years and agree to serve in the program for at least one year.

The deadline to submit applications in January 22.

For more information, visit www.governmentjobs.com/careers/portofolympia or contact Jeri Sevier, Administrative Services Director at JeriS@portolympia.com or at 360-528-8003.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Port Users Want Infrastructure Investment

By Karen Robes Meeks

A group representing the nation’s largest seaports, major marine terminal operators as well as the agricultural sector and big box retailers sent letters to President Donald Trump and Senate and House leaders urging them “not to overlook America’s ports” in the overall investment plan on infrastructure. The Coalition for More Efficient Ports consists of the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York/New Jersey, Ports America and SSA, Agriculture Transportation Coalition and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

“Outdated infrastructure at our nation’s ports threatens to interrupt the supply chain and ultimately the American economy,” the coalition wrote to the president in a letter sent January 3. “This critical infrastructure challenge must be met by increased public and private investment in US ports.”

The coalition brought up the ports’ vital economic role, supporting 23 million jobs and generating more than $321 billion in tax revenue in 2015, according to the American Association of Port Authorities. It also quoted Business Roundtable’s assertion that “underinvestment in ports results in increased prices and lost economic opportunity – as much as tens of billions of dollars every year.”

Foss Provides Puerto Rico Relief

By Karen Robes Meeks

Seattle-based Foss Maritime is assisting in hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Working with a coalition of 19 US electric firms, Foss Maritime has been at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk and the Port of Lake Charles in Louisiana, putting more than 500 utility trucks onto barges headed to the Port of Ponce in Puerto Rico in an effort to restore power to the area.

Equipment such as bucket trucks, line trucks, aerial lifts, CAT skid-steer loaders, digger derricks, and pull trailers are being delivered to the region sometime between January 16-18, according to Foss.

The electric companies are part of the Edison Electric Institute, which agreed to help support the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the US Army Corps of Engineers to restore power to the island ravaged by Hurricane Maria last September.

“This movement of hundreds of utility trucks is part of a comprehensive mobilization effort to get needed equipment to the island so utility crews can begin restoring power for the people of Puerto Rico,” said Will Roberts, Foss Chief Commercial Officer. “Foss is proud to be part of those efforts and continues to be at the ready as needs arise.”

Bellingham Waterfront Master Plan Open House

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham will host an Open House for those who want to learn more about proposed changes to the Waterfront District Master Plan.

Port and city officials approved the plan in 2013, which outlined the location of future roads, parks and view corridors. The Port Commission is considering two new ways – dubbed the Maple Connection and the Waypoint Connection – for improving public access through the downtown waterfront.

The Open House will take place on January 17 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Granary Building, located at 1208 Central Ave. in Bellingham. The public also has an opportunity to weigh in on the plan during the public comment period scheduled between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. at the upcoming January 16 and February 6 commission’s meetings held in the Harbor Center Conference Room, 1801 Roeder Ave. Input can also be emailed to waterfront@portofbellingham.com.

The commission plans to select a park and road layout for the Waterfront District in February and bring the proposed Master Plan change to the City of Bellingham as part of a Sub-Area Plan Amendment application. The review process of that application, due on April 1, 2018 could take up to a year.