Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Long Beach Historically Busy

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently posted its busiest October in history moving 669,218 TEUs, up 15 percent from the same period last year, according to the latest numbers.

The port handled 339,013 imported TEUs, a 14.3 percent spike from October 2016. Meanwhile, it moved slightly fewer exports year over year, about 0.5 percent, to 126,150 containers. Empty containers, which are sent overseas to be replenished with products, rose 28.9 percent, to 204,055 TEUs.

This latest statistic reflects what continues to be a record-setting trend at the nation’s second busiest seaport. Last month was the port’s fourth-busiest of 2017 after July, September and August.

“October used to be the industry’s busiest month of the year, with retailers preparing for Christmas,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Now, with other popular shopping seasons like back-to-school, Halloween and Black Friday, ocean carriers are spreading shipments across more months to maximize the services we have developed to serve them.”

Through the first 10 months of the year, Long Beach handled 6,234,930 TEUs, a 9.5 percent increase over the same period in 2016.

“With two months left in 2017, we’re on track to have our best year ever,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum.

Los Angeles Harbor Parade Registration

By Karen Robes Meeks

Boaters can still register to participate in the 55th Annual Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat parade on December 2. The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles.

The vessel entry fee is $35 and includes one admission to the December 3 parade awards brunch at the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in San Pedro, Calif., where trophies for best use of this year’s parade theme “Peace Around the World,” Holiday Spirit, Most Original, Children’s Choice, Judge’s Choice, and the Grand Marshal’s Award will be presented.

November 30 is the registration deadline. For more details, visit laharborholidayafloat.org, or call parade committee co-chairs Henry Rivas at 323- 487-2101, or Donna Ethington at 310-549-8111.

Bellingham Waterfront Redevelopment

By Karen Robes Meeks

Construction on a pair of major redevelopment projects on the Bellingham waterfront are underway.

A new roadway is being built at the $8.7 million Granary Avenue and Laurel Street project. It will feature Whatcom County’s first cycle track, a dedicated bikeway on both sides of the road. Work is expected to take place over the next year and will involve constructing the part of Granary Avenue adjacent to Roeder Avenue. This will provide visitors early access to Waypoint Park and the historic Granary Building, which is currently being renovated to include shops, restaurants and upper-story offices.

The $2 million, one-acre Waypoint Park project is also under constructionand will feature a new beach, playground, waterfront trail, industrial art and near shore habitat at the end of Central Avenue next to the Granary Building. Work is anticipated to be completed by spring 2018.

New Everett Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Retired supply chain manager Bruce Fingarson will fill the Port of Everett Commission District 1 seat vacated by Troy McClelland, who stepped down after relocating to Massachusetts for a job assignment.

A Washington State University graduate who earned his degree in Business Administration, Fingarson worked in Everett in supplier management for The Boeing Co. for 36 years. He also has strong ties to the city. His family has made Everett their home since the 1920s when his grandparents settled there.

“We were fortunate to have a great group of outstanding candidates,” Port Commissioner Glen Bachman said. “We look forward to having Commissioner Fingarson join the Port team.”

Fingarson’s appointment will last until the next regular port election in 2019.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Volumes Down at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Despite last month being the Port of Los Angeles’ third best October, the nation’s busiest seaport saw its numbers fall 8.1 percent to 748,762 TEUs compared to the same period a year ago, according to the numbers released this week.

The port moved 383,385 imported TEUs, an 8.1 percent decrease from October 2016, and 144,209 exported TEUs, a 13.3 percent drop year over year.

The decrease is not wholly unexpected, given last year’s record-shattering October when the Los Angeles took on more cargo following the 2016 collapse of Hanjin.

Despite the drop, port officials highlighted its strong cargo volumes in 2017. With volumes up 6.4 percent to 7.6 million TEUs from 2016, the port is projected to move 9 million TEUs in one year, a milestone among ports in the Western Hemisphere.

New Fireboat at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach this week officially welcomed a second, new fireboat, Vigilance, in a ceremony dedicated to the late Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Dr. John Kashiwabara, the first Japanese American to serve on the board.

Vigilance, along with fireboat Protector, will be able to meet the needs of larger vessels now calling at the port.

“A capable fleet of fireboats that bring the best modern technology has to offer is essential in minimizing loss and maximizing business continuity for the port,” said Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee. “These amazing vessels will help us better serve the Port of Long Beach.”

Each boat has 10 water cannons that pump out more than 41,000 gallons per minute (four times more than the older fireboats they replaced) and can shoot water as far as two football fields, and taller than a 20-story building, according to the port.

“These fireboats are technological marvels, able to turn on a dime, move sideways and throw water or foam anywhere on the world's largest container ships and oil tankers,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “They are vital to ensure the flow of commerce, and important parts of the best-in-nation services we provide our customers.”

Bulk Tenant Returns to Longview

By Karen Robes Meeks

International Raw Materials (IRM) is returning to the Port of Longview. The Philadelphia-based company, which operated in Longview from 1981 to 2001, has recently signed an agreement with the Washington seaport to lease its Bridgeview Terminal.The company plans to make Longview its flagship location for exporting dry-bulk cargo, according to the port.

“IRM appreciates the opportunity to return to a port and a community that played a significant role in our company’s history and intends to grow and sustain commodity volumes through the facility and increase job frequency and revenue,” said IRM Vice President Tim Mahoney. “We have immediate intentions to improve existing components of the bulk loadout facility, while working to expand the on-site rail footprint.”

The port had been looking for a new tenant after its contract with Kinder Morgan expired.

“Based on their previous operating record at the port, I’m confident IRM will successfully operate Bridgeview Terminal,” said Commission President Doug Averett. “I’m looking forward to a long-term partnership that will bring additional economic vitality to our region.”