Friday, March 22, 2019

Los Angeles Boxes Drop

By Karen Robes Meeks

Although it was its third busiest February ever, the Port of Los Angeles handled 2.7 percent less cargo (705,306 TEUs) than over the same period last year.

Imports fell 9.1 percent to 348,316 TEUs, while exports dipped 9.5 percent to 142,554 TEUs when compared to February 2018 — a record month for Los Angeles cargo. Meanwhile, empty containers were up 16.3 percent to 214,436 TEUs.

The port is attributing the declining numbers to the timing of the Lunar New Year, which prompted shippers to move more cargo in January instead of February. Factories in Asia slow or close shop to celebrate the new year.

"After the busiest seven months in the history of our port, the anticipated ease in cargo volume provides an opportunity for us to regroup with our stakeholders,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With an uneven trade flow, we will be closely evaluating next steps for enhancing supply chain efficiencies.”

Long Beach Volumes Decline

By Karen Robes Meeks

Like Los Angeles, neighboring Port of Long Beach also saw lower cargo volumes in February, a result of an earlier Lunar New Year and last year’s record numbers.

The port handled 596,616 TEUs last month, 9.8 percent less than in February 2018. Imports fell 11.5 percent to 302,865 TEUs, and exports dropped 19.6 percent to 105,287 TEUs. Empty containers were 0.1 percent lower at 188,465 TEUs.

“Lunar New Year was earlier this year, shrinking shipments for most of February,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “We're preparing for busier months ahead and will work with all of our supply chain partners this year to deliver efficient, fast service for our customers as they adjust to market changes.”

Still, last month’s numbers represented the port’s second-busiest February in history.

“Overall, our volumes have increased and cargo flow has become more consistent as retailers constantly replenish inventory in the e-commerce economy,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Last year set high standards. We had our busiest months and year ever, but we are still expecting modest growth in 2019.”

Seattle Floats Cruise Berth at T-46

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle Commission is seeking a partner to develop and run a new, single berth cruise facility at Terminal 46, an estimated $200 million facility that is expected to be ready in time for the 2022 cruise season.

The commission recently put out a Request for Qualifications due April 18 for a public-private-partnership opportunity that would call for the port to contribute to half the cost of the terminal build.

“The intangible asset of Alaska cruises creates opportunities for Washington businesses of all sizes, from farmers and wine producers in Eastern Washington to museums, hotels, and restaurants around King County,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman.

Commissioners also adopted principles that call for the local economy benefiting from a growing cruise business and ensuring the port has one of the most environmentally forward cruise homeports in North America.

“Our principles ensure that this new cruise terminal will expand local economic benefit, and with the addition of our third shore power berth will make Seattle the national leader in promoting clean, electric shore power for our Alaska-bound cruises,” Bowman said.

Meet Vancouver’s Port Leadership

By Karen Robes Meeks

Community members have a chance to get better acquainted with the leaders that govern the Port of Vancouver USA.

The port’s Board of Commissioners will host its next evening of coffee and conversation on March 25. The low-key setting allows guests to stop by to hear and talk about the port’s latest events and projects. The meet and greet will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the port’s Commission Room, 3103 Northwest Lower River Road, Vancouver, Wash.

Visit www.portvanusa.com or follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (@portvanusa) for updates on upcoming Commission Coffees, which happen throughout the year in different parts of the port district.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Charleston to Memorialize Fishermen

By Karen Robes Meeks

Do you know someone who was deeply involved in the Charleston or Coos Bay area commercial fishing community for more than three years? The Port of Coos Bay is seeking nominations to add names to the Charleston Fishermen’s Memorial at Charleston Marina. The committee will also consider people with years spent in businesses related to the Charleston fishing industry.

Members of the memorial committee will review the nominations. New inductees will be honored at the annual Blessing of the Fleet Memorial Service at 10 a.m. on May 27.

Applications are available at the Charleston Marina Office, 63534 Kingfisher Road. Call Margery Whitmer at 541-297-2095 to have it sent to you. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2019.

The committee is also seeking floral arrangement donations for the blessing ceremony.

Port of Olympia Supporting Community Projects

By Karen Robes Meeks

Two projects recently received support from the Port of Olympia Commission, namely the Senior Services of South Sound community kitchen feasibility study and the Lacey MakerSpace.

The commission sanctioned $19,000 toward a community kitchen feasibility study in partnership with Washington State University, Thurston Economic Development Council and Senior Services of South Sound. This project will look at the feasibility and develop a business plan for a community kitchen where all Senior Services meals can be prepared.

The commission also approved $15,000 toward equipment and other expenses for the Lacey MakerSpace project, in partnering with Thurston EDC, Saint Martin’s University and City of Lacey.

“The Lacey MakerSpace will be a community center that will contain industrial quality equipment, access for local businesses to equipment, and technology and fabricators,” according to the port, adding that the project will provide training on computers and equipment, and nurture collaboration among those with similar interests.

Two New Ferry Gates of San Francisco

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bay Area civic and transportation leaders recently celebrated the opening of the second of two new ferry gates that are part of the $98 million downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion. The project seeks to boost downtown ferry capacity to meet growing demand for San Francisco Bay Ferry ridership.

“Right now it is simply too difficult for many people to commute in and out of San Fran-cisco,” said Mayor London Breed. “Our population and our economy are growing. We need to make sure that we continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure to break the gridlock, and this includes expanding our ferry service throughout the Bay Area.”

Ridership has doubled since 2012, officials said.

“San Francisco Bay Ferry service is growing with new routes and more passengers than ever,” said Nina Rannells, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transit Authority. “These new gates in downtown San Francisco increase our capacity and represent a major upgrade to our busiest terminal. This is a huge milestone for this project and for the growth of WETA’s ferry service in the Bay Area.”