Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Busy October for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its second-busiest October, according to latest numbers released Friday.

Long Beach handled 688,425 TEUs, 2.4 percent less than October 2018. Imports fell 7.4 percent to 337,062 TEUs, while exports rose 9.8 percent to 131,635 TEUs. Empty containers dipped 0.8 percent to 219,728 TEUs.

“As the trade war lingers, these tariffs continue to impact the US economy and have created uncertainty for the business of importers and exporters,” said port executive director Mario Cordero. “We are hopeful for a prompt resolution of the tariff situation between the US and China. In the meantime, we are moving forward with capital improvements that should bring long-term growth.”

Everett Sees Milestone Container Move

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett and shipping partner Brusco Tug and Barge achieved a major milestone last month in South Everett with the completion of the 1,000th direct container-on-barge aerospace cargo transport between the port’s Pacific Terminal and Mount Baker Terminal, its satellite shipping facility.

This means the “just-in-time delivery” of over 10,000 oversized airplane parts in support of the 747, 767, 777 and 777X airplane production lines.

“I’m proud of this strong partnership and the major impact it has had, and will continue to have, on our local and regional economies,” said Carl Wollebek, Chief Operating Officer for the port. “This logistics accomplishment, paired with the Port’s continued facility investments, represents our long-standing commitment to support the aerospace industry and job growth.”

Oakland Sees Export Increase

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last month, exports at the Port of Oakland rose 10.8 percent more than the same period last year, according to latest statistics released Friday.

The port handled 87,393 TEUs in export containers, much of it heading to Asian markets including its top trade partner China. Meanwhile, imports declined 4.6 percent, but are still up 2.7 percent for the year.

“Our export customers have demonstrated their resilience throughout this tariff standoff,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “For their sake, we hope the conflict is resolved and overseas business can grow even more.”

Oil Spilled in Honolulu Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

An oil discharge near Pier 19 in Honolulu, Hawaii, prompted the US Coast Guard to respond to the incident Thursday.

Vessel Kamokuiki contacted Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders Wednesday night about “heavy fuel oil discharged during bunkering operations with a barge.”

The crew quickly “secured the discharge, activated their Vessel Response Plan, and began clean-up operations,” according to USCG.

About 25 bales of absorbent material spanning the vessel’s stern to Pier 22 were deployed. Surrounding the bales were 1600 feet of hard boom deployed by two response vessels.

Cleanup efforts are underway. The bales collected two barrels (about 84 gallons) of oil and skimmers have cleaned up 40 gallons.

No wildlife has reportedly been affected.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Everett to Receive Federal Transportation Funds

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett will receive $15.5 million in federal funds for improvements along Everett’s waterfront, paving the way for future freight transportation.

The money, which comes from the US Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, allows the port to buy the land, build utilities, make stormwater improvements and prep the site to support container-on-barge service in the future.

“This grant award is a win-win for the Port of Everett that will clean up a neglected environmental hazard while also restoring the former Kimberly-Clark mill site to support maritime freight and commerce – stimulating Everett’s waterfront economy, and creating hundreds of new jobs in our state’s fastest growing county,” said Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash.

“The port is thrilled to receive the BUILD grant to help purchase the former Kimberly-Clark mill site for maritime development,” said Lisa Lefeber, port CEO and executive director. “We will now be able to put this strategic site back into productive use, creating hundreds of jobs for the Everett-area economy,” she said. “The port greatly appreciates the strong support given to our grant application by Senators Murray and (Maria) Cantwell and Congressman (Rick) Larsen.”

Matson Posts Earnings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Matson, Inc. posted a net income of $36.2 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2019 slightly lower than the $41.6 million recorded for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2018, the company announced Thursday.

Consolidated revenue for the 2019 third quarter reached $572.1 million, a drop from $589.4 million reported for the same period in 2018.

The quarter’s results came in as expected, according to Matt Cox, Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Within Ocean Transportation, our China trade lane service performed well, but we saw continued weakness in our Hawaii market and experienced softer-than-expected volume in our Alaska service,” he said in a statement. “Within our Logistics segment, we continued to perform well with positive contributions to operating income from nearly all of the service lines."

The company maintains its 2019 consolidated operating income outlook, “given the performance year-to-date and our expectations for our businesses in the final quarter of the year,” Cox said.

“As we near the end of this transition year with Lurline expected to enter service this quarter, we take a significant step towards realizing our previously-mentioned approximately $30 million in financial benefits in 2020, when compared to 2019, driven primarily from the reduction in Hawaii fleet deployment to nine vessels," he said.

LA Cargo Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles handled 770,189 TEUs last month, falling 19.1% below its 2018 October record-breaking figures, according to numbers released Thursday. Imports dropped 19.1% to 392,768 TEUs and exports fell 19.3% to 140,332 TEUs.

The drop was not unexpected. Last year’s October numbers were significant in part because shippers were rushing to import cargo before tariffs took effect.

“With 25% fewer ship calls, 12 consecutive months of declining exports and now decreasing imports, we’re beginning to feel the far-reaching effects of the U.S.-China trade war on American exporters and manufacturers,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We expect soft volumes in the months ahead and with the holiday season upon us, less cargo means fewer jobs for American workers. We need a negotiated settlement and the tariffs lifted.”