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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Major U.S. Ports to Spend $8.5 Billion On Development

As global containerized cargo traffic begins to slowly return after the global economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009, the nation's major ports are planning or under way with major infrastructure development to beat back competition, according to a new report by Chicago-based commercial real estate management firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
“According to the American Association of Port Authorities, in the last 50 years U.S. seaports have invested more than $34 billion in capital projects to enhance their facilities,” said John Carver, head of the Ports, Airports, and Global Infrastructure group at Jones Lang LaSalle. “By our estimates, the top 13 ports alone will pour nearly a quarter of that amount, roughly $8.5 billion into container terminal and harbor dredging projects in just the next five years. This ratio clearly demonstrates the major efforts being made to ensure that U.S. ports remain competitive and efficient in the fight for global market share.”

The Virginia Port Authority, the Port of Long Beach, and the Georgia Ports Authority topped the list of the nation's major port areas planning development. The VPA has plans to spend just under $2.5 billion, Long Beach has plans for $2.4 billion in development and the GPA plans to spend $1.2 billion at the Port of Savannah.

The report also found that the main driving force behind the increases in domestic spending on ports infrastructure remains the planned 2014 opening of the Panama Canal.

East Coast and Gulf ports are investing in anticipation of diversions from West Coast ports, said the report, while West Coast ports are looking at infrastructure investments as a means of retaining and attracting new customers following the opening of the expanded Panama Canal. The report concludes, however, that LA/LB will not suffer major diversions due to the opening of the Canal.

In addition, the report also introduced the new Jones Lang LaSalle Port Index, which ranked the nation's top 13 seaport hubs on their desirability for industrial development and investment. The ports were ranked on the basis of seven criteria: TEU volumes; TEU growth trends; labor costs; local industrial property vacancy rates; on-dock and near-dock rail availability; ratios of land value-to-lease rates, and, planned infrastructure investment. Several of the ports, such as Los Angeles and Long Beach, were combined into single entities for the rankings.

"Not surprisingly, Los Angeles/Long Beach tops the Index," said the report, "followed by New York/New Jersey and Savannah which have all performed above the national average and have committed to substantial infrastructure investment in recent years."

The LA/LB port area topped the index with a score of 91.4. New York-New Jersey came in second at 89.5, followed by Savannah, 86.3; Virginia, 85.8; Houston, 84.8; Seattle-Tacoma, 82.0; Jacksonville and Miami, tied at 79.8; Oakland, 78.0; Baltimore, 73.8; and Charleston, 73.0.

Gregoire Kicks Off Washington State Export Initiative

Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire visited the Port of Seattle Tuesday to introduced her plans for a new state export initiative aimed at complimenting the Obama Administration's National Export Initiative intended to double domestic exports within five years.

“As one of the nation’s leading exporting states, Washington State has the ability to act as a testing ground as the United States Department of Commerce develops new programs to move the National Export Initiative forward,” Gregoire said. “Washington is the gateway to Asia, and those trading partners have not been hit as hard as other areas around the world. We need to continue to increase our efforts to reach out to those trading partners. When our companies have more opportunities to do business, they can expand and create more good jobs for our communities.”

The governor's five-year six-point plan includes:

  • Working as partners with the U.S. Department of Commerce to identify new opportunities for Washington businesses, serving as a pilot state for “field testing” new programs and tools the federal government develops as a part of the National Export Initiative;
  • Directing the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) to dedicate $3 million in funding toward export counseling assistance to companies seeking to export for the first time;
  • Implementing a “Farm-to-Market Initiative” to reward ambitious and achievable proposals to enhance the competitiveness of the state's agricultural enterprises in the global marketplace.
  • Enhancing the state's standing as a destination for foreign students who invest in the Washington economy through tuition, lodging and entertainment and encourage Washington students to study abroad; and
  • Strengthening and expanding relationships with overseas trading partners;
  • Engaging with the federal government to ensure a fully-funded federal transportation re-authorization act that includes a national freight program aimed at infrastructure investments that enhance the state's ability to efficiently move goods.

Gov. Gregoire said she expects the state export initiative to increase the number of Washington state companies exporting by 30 percent over the next five years and help 5,000 Washington businesses achieve $600 million in new export sales.

“Increasing the export of American products and services to global markets can help revive the fortunes of U.S. companies, spur future economic growth and support jobs in the U.S.,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. "I applaud Governor Gregoire and Washington State for partnering with us on the National Export Initiative, and look forward to working with the state."

With 8,000 Washington companies currently exporting, the state is the largest U.S. exporter on a per capita basis. Approximately four percent of Washington companies export, compared to a national average of one percent. One in three jobs in Washington state are tied to trade, either directly or indirectly.

“Taking the lead among all states with this early commitment to the National Export Initiative is good for Washington because it builds on our core strengths,” said Washington State Commerce Director Rogers Weed. “Expanding opportunities for our state’s current exporters will generate growth in the near term, while future sales and jobs will come from a new focus by the Small Business Development Centers and other key partners to find and help some of the 96 percent of other Washington companies reach international markets with their products and services.”

ASG Names Chiarello As President

The Federal Way, Wash.-based ship managment firm American Shipping Group has appointed Anthony Chiarello as president, effective Aug. 1.

A 30-year veteran of the maritime logistics industry, Chiarello currently serves as COO and Executive Vice-President of NYK Logistics (Americas), Inc.

Prior to joining NYK, Chiarello served as Senior Vice President, Global Customer Development for AMB Property Corporation. Previously, Chiarello served as chairman and president of Hudd Distribution Services, Inc., a Maersk Logistics company. In addition, he also held other positions during his tenure with Maersk, including president of Maersk Logistics USA Inc.; chairman of Maersk Customs Services; president of Maersk Equipment Service Company, Inc., and vice president for Universal Maritime Service Corporation, a stevedoring and terminal subsidiary of Maersk Sealand.

Chiarello was also a member of the board of directors for Bridge Terminal Transportation and held the position of Deputy Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration. He has also had leadership participation with the Retail Industry Leaders Association; served on the the Board of Advisors for the United States Merchant Marine Academy; served as a past facilitator for the annual Terminal Management Training Program; and, served as an active member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Chiarello currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the Northeastern University School of Business.

A resident of Princeton, N.J., Chiarello also worked with his grandfather, father, uncles and cousins in the family’s Brooklyn-based stevedoring and terminal operations business, originally named Chiarello Brothers and founded in 1898.

ASG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources, Inc., oversees three independently managed companies: Jones Act-carriers Sea Star Line and Totem Ocean Trailer Express, and ship management firm Interocean American Shipping.

ASG was incorporated in 2002 and has terminal facilities in Jacksonville, Fla.; Houston, Texas; Tacoma, Wash.; and Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Kenai in Alaska. The firm also has offices in Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; and Portland, Oregon.

Shipping Sectors To Split Costs For Neah Bay Rescue Tug

When private industry takes up the cost of maintaining and emergency-rescue tug at Neah Bay in northwest Washington state on July 1, owners of oil tankers will pay 57 percent of the cost and owners of non-tanker vessels will pay the remaining 43 percent.

The cost-sharing is part of an agreement negotiated by representatives of the various sectors of the shipping industry. The shipping industry officials have also inked a one-year deal with Foss Maritime to provide the Neah Bay rescue tug service.

The state has provided all funding for the tug service, to the tune of roughly $3.6 million a year for the past two years, but Washington State Governor Christine Gregiore decided in March 2009 to shift the entire cost of the Neah Bay tug to the maritime industry as of July 1, 2010.

The 40-year-old 115-foot Jeffery Foss is expected to take station at Neah Bay on July 1. The Jeffery Foss takes over from the Crowley Maritime tug Hunter, which had been performing the Neah Bay rescue service under contract with the state.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dockers Honor Anti-Israel Picket at Oakland Port

Longshoremen at the Port of Oakland returned to work a Zim Lines containership Monday morning, a day after the dockers chose to honor a labor and community picket of the terminal. The picket, which was estimated by local law enforcement to comprise close to 500 people at one point Sunday, was called by organizers to protest last month's Israeli raid of a ship bringing supplies to Gaza that left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead.

The Mercury News reports several hundred people had gathered at the Oakland port about 5:30 a.m. at berths 57, 58 and 59, which is operated by SSA Terminals. An Israeli Zim Lines ship was expected to arrive in the morning, but didn’t, so the crowd stayed until the afternoon, preventing workers from unloading a ship from China, according to SSA officials.

Dockers showing up for the day shift on Sunday at the Oakland International Container Terminal refused to cross the picket line and the terminal did not order an evening shift.

Officials from the ANSWER Coalition, one of the groups that organized the protest, said that the goal of the protest was to prevent the unloading of the Zim vessel for 24 hours.

Protesters blocking the terminal entrance waved anti-Israeli signs as well as Palestinian and Turkish flags. The protest organizers also called for a boycott of Israeli goods and an end to American aid to Israel. No arrests were made, according to Oakland law enforcement officials.

On Monday morning, International Longshore and Warehouse Union officials confirmed that ordered day-shift dockers showed up to the terminal at 8 a.m. and began working the Zim vessel.

Army Corps to Move Forward on SoCal Ports Breakwater Study

The United States Army Corps of Engineers on Monday announced it will move forward with a four-year $8 million feasibility study researching possible reconfigurations of portions of the federal breakwater that protects anchorages for the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The Army Corps study follows on the heels of a city-sponsored study that listed numerous possible reconfigurations of the 2.5-mile-long eastern-most section of the breakwater ranging in cost from $10 million to more than $300 million.

The main focus of the study to be conducted by the Army Corps will be to determine if the breakwater could be removed or reconfigured to improve water quality and recreational opportunities on the city beaches without negatively impacting port operations. Built in three sections between 1899 and 1949 by the Army Corps, the more than eight-mile-long federal breakwater is the longest man-made breakwater in the world. Built from west to east, the western-most section protects the Port of Los Angeles and the middle section protects the Port of Long Beach.

The eastern-most section, started in 1941 and completed in 1949, faces the city beaches--once renowned for their surf--and was built to provide U.S. Navy vessels with protected anchorages when the city was a key port for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The area behind the eastern-most section of the breakwater, known as Long Beach Harbor, is now used by the Southern California ports as protected anchorages.

The same section of the breakwater severely diminished wave action and cleansing water currents within Long Beach Harbor, leaving city beaches dirty and unpopular compared to beaches further down the coast and just outside the protective shadow of the breakwater.

Since the Navy departed Long Beach in 1995, opponents of the breakwater have called it unnecessary. Proponents of keeping the breakwater as-is have criticized the cost or altering the breakwater and possible impact on port operations.

The city will be required to provide half of the estimated $8 million cost of the Army Corps study, though some of Long Beach's contribution will be "services-in-kind," reducing the city's cash contribution to just over $3.3 million, according to city officials.

The city's recent study on the breakwater found that bringing back surfable wave action and improved water quality to the city beaches could reap the city more than $52 million a year in increased tourism dollars.

Sramek Named to 2nd Term as Long Beach Port Board President

Following a first term that witnessed major environmental successes and a growing recovery in cargo traffic, Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Nick Sramek has been re-elected by his fellow board members to a second one-year term as president of the commission.

Sramek, a lifetime Long Beach resident and long-time community activist, was first appointed to the Harbor Commission by Mayor Bob Foster in 2007. An aerospace engineer by profession, Sramek served on the City of Long Beach Planning Commission for seven years prior to his Harbor Commission appointment.

The five-member Harbor Commission sets policy for the port, which with the neighboring Port of Los Angeles comprises the busiest container port complex in the Western Hemisphere. Port commissioners, who can serve up to two six-year terms, are nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Each June, the commissioners self-elect each other to one-year terms in various officer roles on the board.

Sramek is only the second Long Beach commissioner to be named to successive terms as commission president.

During his past year as president of the Harbor Commission, Sramek has led the board in adopting major environmental, business and administrative policy programs that have tried to balance the port's declared stewardship of the local environment while retaining and attracting additional business to the port.

He described his method of leadership shortly after being appointed to the port board in 2007.

"My engineering background says I want to learn, take in data and really inform myself before I come to any conclusions," Sramek told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "From there, I vote on what my heart and instinct tell me."

Even before taking the reigns as commission president for the first time last year, Sramek was a key voice in one of the port's major environmental programs--the Clean Truck Program.

The program, implemented in October 2008, was originally developed in conjunction with the Port of Los Angeles in 2006 and 2007 to reduce diesel emission from ports-servicing trucks. However, after Los Angeles port official became adamant on including social engineering aspects in the plan, such as mandating that all truck drivers servicing the ports be employees and give up their independent owner-operator status (one enjoyed by more than 80-percent of the ports-servicing drivers), the Long Beach port board parted ways with their Los Angeles counterparts in early 2008.

In addition to Sramek's re-appointment as commission president, commissioner Susan Anderson Wise, who joined the board in 2008, was selected as Vice President. Dr. Mike Walter, who has served on the commission since 2005, was named Secretary; while Mario Cordero, appointed to the commission in 2003 and re-appointed in 2009, was named Vice Secretary.

All new commission terms officially start July 1.

Crowley Reorganizes Management and Structure for Better Access

Citing a desire to better meet the supply chain needs of its global customers, Crowley Maritime announced Monday that it has realigned its liner and logistics sales, pricing, customer service and marketing groups and made several management changes.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm said the realignment will "give customers a single point of contact for their transportation and logistics needs and will allow better access to the many services Crowley has to offer."

As part of the realignment, Robb Clapp has been named vice president, customer care; Craig Cox, director of marketing, liner and logistics; Charlie Dominguez, vice president of national accounts; Jorge Estevez, vice president, pricing; and, Pete Noyer, vice president of business development.

Each will work out of the firm's headquarters in Jacksonville and report jointly to Senior Vice President and General Managers, John Hourihan, Latin America services; John Douglass, Puerto Rico/Caribbean services and Steve Collar, logistics.

"This realignment better focuses our sales and support structures relative to the needs of our customers," explained Hourihan. "It will allow our sales executives to spend time understanding the transportation and logistics needs of their assigned customers, and it will give our customers a single Crowley point of contact in the sales organization whether their needs are for ocean transportation or any of our logistics offerings."

According to Crowley, customers will have access to the firm's customer service department, which has been restructured to "more personally handle their phone calls or emails efficiently and with in-depth knowledge of their account." Additionally, sales people will have access to logistics specialists that can provide input allowing customers to enhance their supply chain process with additional Crowley services from air freight to warehousing, trucking, customs clearance and the like.

"We understand that a realignment of sales would not be complete unless we also restructured those functions that support sales," explained Collar. "Critical to our strategy of continuing to build value for our customers is the establishment of Crowley's customer care organization which will be primarily responsible for addressing the post-sale needs of an account."

The privately held Crowley employs approximately 4,300 people and utilizes a fleet of more than 210 vessels, consisting of roll on/roll off vessels, lift on/lift off vessels, tankers, tugs and barges. Crowley's land-based facilities and equipment include terminals, warehouses, tank farms, office buildings, trucks, trailers, containers, chassis, cranes and other specialized vehicles.

Clapp began his career with Crowley in 1988 as an accountant, and has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility, mostly in accounting, finance and management reporting. He served as director of finance for Latin America before being promoted to vice president of pricing and yield management for that group in 2005. In 2008, he assumed responsibility for all liner pricing and yield management activities.

Cox most recently served the company as director, marketing for technical services, Atlantic/Gulf and Pacific services. He also worked in the technical services group as manager, sales and marketing providing strategic market and business development support for their technical ship management and government contract groups. Cox has also worked in the petroleum services group as manager of planning and has extensive experience in sales and marketing working in various positions of increasing responsibility within the Puerto Rico/Caribbean liner group.

Dominguez joined Crowley in 1983 as director of marketing and sales in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Over the past 24 years, he has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibility within the liner services sales organizations, before attaining his most recent position as vice president of sales and marketing in 1999.

Estevez, vice president, sales and marketing, Puerto Rice/Caribbean, joined Crowley's Miami, Fla., office 22 years ago and has since held roles of increasing responsibility within the firm. While most recently he oversaw all sales and marketing for Crowley's operations in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean, he has also been director of national accounts; regional sales manager, trade director Central America, Mexico and Dominican Republic and vice president pricing & yield management. Previously, Estevez, a Havana, Cuba native, worked for Coordinated Caribbean Transport, which was acquired by Crowley.

Noyer joined Crowley 29 years ago as a senior account executive and has held positions of increased responsibility since that time including director, national accounts; district/regional marketing manager; regional sales manager, special commodities and most recently, manager, area sales.

Regional Report: British Columbia

By Chris Philips, Managing Editor
June 2010

Although British Columbia hosted the world for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the most important long-term visitors were the steamship lines which called at area ports in 2009 and the first quarter of 2010.

The Canadian Province’s northernmost port, the Port of Prince Rupert, continued its strong growth in both bulk and container volumes, handling 4,119,708 metric tons in the first quarter of 2010, up 72.8 percent compared to 2,383,510 metric tons in the same period in 2009. The increase in traffic was driven by a 217.9 percent jump in throughput at Ridley Terminals and an 84.3 percent increase at the Fairview Container Terminal. The first quarter performance follows the best year at the Port of Prince Rupert in 2009 since 1997.

Exports from Prince Rupert were strong as well, with export traffic through the Fairview Container Terminal growing 108.9 percent for the first quarter of 2010, allowing the terminal to post an overall 87.3 percent increase in traffic, to 76,860 TEUs, compared to 41,042 TEUs for January-March 2009. The Port attributes much of the growth in containerized export cargo to the backhaul of Western Canada resource-based commodities to China, including northern British Columbia lumber, logs and aluminum.

“The increase in Canadian exports demonstrates the value of the Prince Rupert Gateway to the northwest transportation corridor,” says President & CEO Don Krusel.

The strong export market for northern BC products is also generating new business and employment opportunities in the region including trucking and transloading operations.

To meet the increased volumes, Prince Rupert’s anchor container client, COSCO, has restored six 7,500-TEU vessel to the North China-U.S. Southwest Express Service Vessels to replace the six 5,500-TEU vessels currently serving the route.

The COSCO Yokohama is the first of the six to resume calling on Prince Rupert as part of the CEN Service the carrier operates as part of the CKYH Alliance along with “K” Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin. The Yokohama arrived in Prince Rupert April 26 as the first port of call from Asia before continuing on to US West Coast ports.

The port recorded strong grain volumes, with combined increases in canola, alfalfa pellets and grain pellets offsetting a decrease in wheat volumes, as Prince Rupert Grain Ltd. shipped 1,266,884 metric tons, up 621 mt, in the first quarter 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. Wheat was down 6.2 percent to 1,125,802 metric tons, while canola was up 82.7 per cent to 116,413 metric tons.

The Canadian Wheat Board, which disperses the agricultural products shipped through the ports of Prince Rupert and Vancouver, projects that exports for the 2009-10 crop year, which ends July 31, will reach 18.7 million metric tons of grain, its highest level of shipments in a decade. Prince Rupert Grain volumes in 2010 are expected to match its 2009 performance, one of its best years since 1997.

Prince Rupert’s Ridley Terminals Inc. is forecasting a record year for 2010, on the news of a posted 217.9 percent increase in volumes to 2,033,949 metric tons in the first quarter 2010 over 2009, with coal climbing 165.5 percent to 1,217,799 metric tons, followed by a 322.7 percent jump in coking coke to 512,065 metric tons and 729.3 percent increase in petroleum coke to 252,424 metric tons. Wood pellet volumes also increased 75.6 percent to 51,661 metric tons.

The port is contributing C$280 million a year to the Canadian gross domestic product and C$500 million a year to the economic output of regional and provincial economies, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the port.

The study, conducted by InterVISTAS Consulting, Inc., also found that the port is contributing to the generation of more than 2,700 full-time jobs and adding C$150 million in annual wages into the regional economies located along the port’s transportation corridor.

The study also found that the port is creating substantial revenues for all levels of Canadian government, totaling C$35 million in taxes annually, including C$22 million in federal taxes, C$9 million to the Province of British Columbia and C$4 million in municipal taxes.

Bulk, Containers and Cruise Lines

Farther south, Port Metro Vancouver’s 2009 year-end cargo statistics are not as sunny. Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, and the fourth largest port in North America, and includes the ports of Vancouver BC, Frasier River, and North Frasier River.

According to quarterly reports, Vancouver saw growth in grain, specialty crops and petroleum products, and a modest increase in export laden container volume, but a decrease in total container count.

In January, Global Container Terminals and Port Metro Vancouver opened a new $400 million third berth at Deltaport container terminal, which began in January 2007 and was completed in December 2009, on-budget and on-time. The project, which took two years to complete, increased Deltaport’s capacity from 1.2 million TEUs to 1.8 million TEUs, and added almost 50 acres of container storage facilities, as well as the first quad cranes in America.

“Over the next ten years, container traffic through the West coast is expected to double,” says Robin Silvester, President and CEO, Port Metro Vancouver. “The new berth at Deltaport is part of a long-term plan to strengthen Canada’s Pacific Gateway and ensure our ability to accommodate the growth in container trade, in particular with Pacific Rim economies like China.”

Overall, the Port’s volume of 101.9 million metric tons declined 11 percent compared to 2008.

“At the end of a challenging and turbulent year, we’re pleased to see gains in some principal Canadian exports, such as grain, specialty crops and crude petroleum,” says Silvester.

Although total foreign exports were flat on the year, the positive economic growth in China and India, along with stability in South Korea, translated into strong increases in exports of Canadian commodities through the Port.

Overall container volume for Port Metro Vancouver decreased nearly 14 percent, to 2.2 million TEUs for the year, including an almost 19 percent decline in laden container imports, while stable demand for containerized exports of forest products and specialty crops helped laden outbound units advance by one percent. Although the Port’s laden container business finished the year down 10 percent, the sector recorded a marked improvement compared to the 17 percent decline reported at mid-year, and the first quarter of 2010 saw the port handle a total of 724,434 TEUs in April, an 8 percent increase over April 2009. Port officials also reported that total loaded inbound box volume in April climbed 17 percent compared to April 2009, with 359,408 TEUs moved. The port also handled a total of 260,121 loaded outbound TEUs in April, a 3 percent increase over the year-ago period.

The port reported coal exports down six percent for 2009, at 24.3 million metric tons, accounting for nearly one quarter of total port tonnage. Consistent growth in exports to South Korea and China throughout the year was complemented by the recovery of demand for metallurgical coal by major steel producers, such as Japan, in the second half of the year.

The port’s grain, specialty crops and feed volumes increased 33 percent and set a throughput record for grains at 18.1 million metric tons. These record volumes resulted from high carryover from a very good 2008 harvest, a larger than expected 2009 harvest, and very strong demand in Asia, South America and the Middle East. Canola increased 38 percent on high demand from Asia, and volumes to China peaked in advance of its November 15 ban on Canadian canola. Wheat volumes through the Port advanced 38 percent on strong demand from Latin American, South American and Middle Eastern markets.

Demand also remained strong for crude petroleum, which recorded a 77 percent surge over 2008, as oil sand activity continued to direct outbound crude shipments through the Port to northern US refineries. Gasoline, derived from the crude petroleum refining process, also experienced a five percent boost over 2008 volumes.

Bulk and breakbulk cargos through the port saw a decline in 2009, including a decrease by 15 of vehicles shipped through the port, to 387,230 units. Sulphur volumes were down 14 percent as low demand in the first half of the year and declining supply from accessible sources affected volumes, and forest products volumes dropped 21 percent, most likely due to a severe downturn in the Canadian forest industry that affected domestic volumes, although foreign forest product volumes increased by one percent, driven by strong demand from China. Port metro Vancouver reported domestic sand and gravel volume declines of 35 percent due to reduced construction activity in the Metro Vancouver region. Volumes at mid-year decreased 53 percent compared to 2008, reflecting a 50 percent drop in the value of building permits in the Lower Mainland, but recovered slightly in the third quarter due to increased local construction activity.

Domestic shipments of logs were down 42 percent, paper and paperboard down 19 percent, woodchips down 18 percent, and caustic soda down 43 percent.

Domestic moves of consumer and related goods also declined 12 percent, from 4.6 million to 4.1 million metric tons, reflecting the decrease in consumer spending that also contributed to the reduction in import containers.

Cruise Volumes Up

Vancouver’s cruise passenger volumes increased five percent in 2009 to 898,473 revenue passengers over 256 voyages through Port Metro Vancouver, in part from the diversion of the Carnival Splendour to the Vancouver-Alaska cruise from its usual southern itinerary.

The port kicked off the 2010 cruise season with an eco-friendly visit by Holland America’s ms Amsterdam, which was the first cruise ship of the 2010 cruise season to call at Port Metro Vancouver in late April, and the first of 58 scheduled calls expected to connect to the Port’s new shore power system. The ship arrived in Vancouver after sailing from Petropavlovsk, Russia as part of a 114-day Grand World voyage.

This will be the first full year of operation for Port Metro Vancouver’s two new shore power connections at Canada Place- one of only three such systems in the world, according to Silvester.

The cold ironing system, completed in 2009, is a $9-million initiative by the Government of Canada, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, BC Hydro and Port Metro Vancouver which is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Vancouver by up to 3000 metric tons a year.

Despite forecasting declines this year to just under 600,000 passengers and 179 ship calls, the port remains optimistic about its future cruise business. Disney Cruise Line has announced that they will home port Disney Wonder in Vancouver in 2011, and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) cruise3sixty 2010 trade show will be held in Vancouver this month, marking the first time in its history the event has been held outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Allied Shipbuilders Coast Guard Contract
Allied Shipbuilders, in North Vancouver, is completing a C$15 million major refit on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Bartlett.

The work is the second phase of a major life extension project for the CCGS Bartlett, with the first phase having been completed by Allied Shipbuilders Ltd. in July of 2009.

The CCGS Bartlett, based in Victoria, BC, is a medium-endurance multi-tasked vessel, used in tending to navigational aids, resupplying lighthouses, search and rescue, and fisheries enforcement. It is based in Victoria

The work is part of a $175 million package announced for the Coast Guard in the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, $74 million of which will be invested in life extension projects for five of the Canadian Coast Guard’s largest vessels, with all repair work to be completed by March 2011.

New Canadian Fleet
The Canadian Government has embarked on a new Naval shipbuilding program to update an aging fleet. This year marks the Canadian Navy’s 100th anniversary, but the majority of Canadian shipyards have not received any government orders for new construction since the 1980s, and last month the head of the Canadian Navy, Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, said Canada needs to upgrade its 12 warships, replace its destroyers and supply ships, and build new ships to operate in the Arctic.

Last July, Canadian National Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced a fleet renewal plan to build more than 50 large vessels for the Department of National Defense and the Coast Guard, plus another 70 smaller vessels of less than 1,000 tons. The Federal Government’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) could provide 70 million person hours over the next 30 years and is valued at more than C$40 billion. The programs include the construction of more than 50 ships for the Federal Shipbuilding Programs.

This year, in addition to its regular duties, Canadian forces have been called to counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.

“You can’t do this work without the right equipment,” says McFadden. “Let’s get on with it.”

Jonathan Whitworth, CEO of the Washington Marine Group (WMG), agrees, and hopes his organization will see a large share of vessel construction contracts under the NSPS.

In April, WMG announced a teaming agreement with systems, software and hardware engineering group Thales Canada and hopes to provide the Canadian Government with a single solution for the future construction and in-service support of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS). The AOPS program is worth more than C$2 billion dollars, and will deliver six ice breaking patrol vessels to the Canadian Navy, as part of the NSPS.

The program is expected to provide 700 to 800 skilled jobs to BC shipbuilders. WMG is currently supplying in-service support for the Canadian submarine fleet, Mid Life extension for Canadian Patrol Frigates, and building motorized lifeboats for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Late last year, WMG formed an alliance with other shipbuilders located on the West Coast of Canada, to provide a unified voice to all levels of government in an effort to promote BC’s shipbuilding industry. The Pacific Coast Shipbuilders Association (PCSA) includes the three Washington yards, as well as eight other British Columbia-based shipyards.

Robert Allan Ltd. Celebrates 80 Years
Last month, Canadian naval architecture firm Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) celebrated its 80th continuous year in business as an independent, privately held, consulting Naval Architecture firm. With 65 employees, RAL is one of the largest in the country and provides ship design and related consulting engineering services to international commercial and government clients. The firm designs high-performance tugboat designs for tanker escort and LNG terminal support services, fireboats coastal and river tug-barge towing systems, offshore support vessels, crewboats, patrol craft, scientific research vessels, icebreakers, ferries and a wide array of unique specialized craft.

Robert Allan Ltd. designs account for an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the world’s new tugs in the past decade, and significant projects include the creation of a fleet of seven major escort/terminal RAstar Class tugs for Svitzer at Milford Haven, UK, five unique Voith-propelled escort tugs for Ostensjo Rederi AS of Norway for Oil terminals in the Norway and the UK, a fleet of twenty 25 metre and 30 metre RAmparts Class ASD tugs for SMIT-Rebras in Brazil, the development of the award-winning Z-Tech concept for the Port of Singapore, and many others.