Friday, July 12, 2013

New Mission-Specific Tug for Cook Inlet

Portland’s Diversified Marine’s reputation for quality construction has earned it contracts from a variety of discerning maritime companies, including Brusco Tug & Barge, Shaver Transportation and Crowley Marine Services.

The newest delivery is the Bob Franco, a new azimuthing stern drive (ASD) tugboat for Seattle-based Harley Marine Services, named after the father of Harley Marine’s president Harley Franco. The 120-foot by 35-foot boat, designed by Seattle’s Jensen Maritime, is a similar design to the successful Titan-class vessels designed for Seattle’s Western Towboat, but the new boat is adapted for ship assist and towing work in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, where a contract with Tesoro will require the tug to work in extreme conditions. To meet the challenge, the new boat is equipped with heated decks and tanks, keel coolers and an increased capacity for response operations, including a large aft work deck, 4-ton crane and plans for a crude oil skimming system.

The new boat has comfortable accommodations for 13 crew, and is powered by the newest generation of Caterpillar tier III C175-16 engines providing 2,683 HP each at 1,600 RPM. The power from these low-emission engines is transmitted through a pair of Schottel 1515 Z drives, providing a bollard pull of better than 70 tons.

The vessel was originally designed to work out of Seattle, but was requested for Alaska’s Cook Inlet by Harley Marine’s client Tesoro Corporation. The change in plans meant a change in the makeup of the tug, and required the addition of extra equipment, upgraded machinery and even a redesign of the structure of the boat.

Kurt Redd, president of Diversified Marine, says the change of mission called for some serious redesign work, including an ice-strengthened hull. Redd says his crew removed plating to go to heavier plating. “We actually removed plating and replaced it, and ice-strengthened the boat in a more original-design manner, rather than just doubling up on existing plating.” Redd says the result is a much stiffer and stronger hull.

Another change was the addition of a larger bow winch. “The boat wasn’t designed for ship assist,” Redd says. “We put large beams through the structure of the boat to make sure the winch was properly supported.” Diversified also added a bow staple for the winch that extends through two decks to the framing in the hull. “The original design didn’t have a bow staple,” Redd notes. “Now it has a really strong one.”

Shibata fendering surrounds the working surfaces of the new boat, and a 4-ton Rapp Hydra Pro crane is fitted beside the Markey aft towing winch.

On top of the heated decks are non-slip heavy-duty rubber mats generally used on Canadian arctic drill rigs. The mats, supplied by Advanced Mat Systems, were designed and cut to fit in the factory, and delivered ready to install on the working deck surface.

“This is our first installation of the mat system on a tugboat,” Redd says. “I think it came out really well. The crew says it’s nice to not have to stand on the steel deck.”

Along with the heated decks, the boat has heated windows, heated potable water and heated ballast tanks. All this heat required the fitting of larger generators and more electrical work throughout the boat. “We abandoned the two planned 100-kw generators and installed a pair of 250-kw models,” Redd says.

The mission change also called for more engineering work. “There was so much engineering we had to bring in two outside engineers,” Redd says. “The engineering changes were all a collaborative effort between our lofter and the two engineers.”

Cook Inlet averages 176 days a year of below-freezing temperatures, and 94 inches of annual snowfall. To keep the cold outside, the shipyard also beefed up the boat’s insulation. “We insulated like no boat we’ve ever built,” Redd says. “Every level in that boat has a floating floor. I’d say we went overboard on insulation.”

Redd says there’s so much insulation it’s sometimes hard to tell the boat is even running. “During sea trials, the crew had to go outside the crew space to make sure the engines were running.”

To further keep the crew comfortable, the new boat is fitted with a unique heat exchanger made by Daikin, which heats the boat in the winter and cools it in the summer. Diversified worked with York HVAC to install the system, and Diversified crews performed all the piping and insulation. “The system gives each space its own climate control, and each room has its own thermostat, so all the crew spaces in the boat are individually climate controlled,” Redd notes. The system is unique in that it uses the waste heat from the generators or the surrounding seawater to add or remove heat from the system, and uses the overhead space as the air pressure intake plenum, which allows the system to take in fresh air from the outside, no matter the weather.

Along with crew comfort and ice modifications, the mission change required the addition of a ship-assist winch and staple to the bow of the vessel. Markey Machinery stepped up to the challenge with a single-drum electric hawser winch with render/recover capabilities to match the new ship assist capabilities of the sturdy new tug.

“The Bob Franco was originally designed as a line-haul ocean towboat,” says Scott Kreis, vice president of sales at Markey Machinery. “We had gotten quite a ways into the project, and had a simple bow winch, essentially a power-in power-out line-handling unit, most of the way done, when we got a call asking for a hawser winch.”

The company went back to the drawing board, calculated the forces and line loads and sized a class-2 hawser winch for the new boat. “We’ve built about nine winches for Harley in the last year and a half,” Kreis says, “and we finished the original bow winch. It’s in stock for Harley when he needs it.”

The new bow winch is a DEPCF-52-75HP single drum electric hawser winch with a drum capacity of 750 feet of 10-inch line, a line pull of 30,800 lbs. at 378 feet per minute, and a braking force of 678,000 lbs.

The aft towing winch is a double-drum, variable frequency drive, 100-HP towing winch, with 2,500 feet of 2 1/4- inch wire rope on the starboard drum and 1,500 feet of 2 1/4- inch wire on the port drum.

“Both of the winches are electric,” says Kreis, “and there aren’t any hydraulics in the system, so they added a backup hydraulic motor at our suggestion.”

The backup motor is integrated into the deck crane’s hydraulic system, and provides the vessel with a “come-home” drive.

“With a hydraulic winch there is a secondary means of supplying hydraulic flow and pressure, but a diesel or electric system calls for a separate motor drive that can be clutched in if necessary,” says Kreis. “In this case we provide a small hydraulic motor that can be powered off another hydraulic package.” Kreis says he left it up to the yard to decide how to power the backup motor, and is pleased with the result.

The new boat, built to ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) Ice Class DO Standards, and capable of performing in the harsh Alaska marine environment, will help ensure the safety of the vessels in the Tesoro fleet, while providing a level of comfort and safety for the crew of the boat that will be the envy of the North Pacific tugboat fleet.


Tacoma Port Receives Largest-Ever Ship

The ZIM Djibouti became the largest container ship ever to call at the Port of Tacoma when it arrived at Washington United Terminals on July 10, 2013.

The ship has a capacity of 10,000 TEU’s, is 1,145 feet long and 150 feet wide, making it more than twice the diameter of the Tacoma Dome and almost twice the height of the Space Needle. It can hold about 40 percent more cargo than most of the container ships calling at the Port of Tacoma.

“Ships continue to get larger, and we are ready for them,” Port of Tacoma Chief Executive Officer John Wolfe said.

ZIM Integrated Shipping, based in Israel, began calling at the Port of Tacoma last July, when the Grand Alliance, a consortium of three of the world’s largest shipping lines, including German-based Hapag-Lloyd, Orient Overseas Container Line of Hong Kong and the Japanese NYK Line, relocated from the Port of Seattle to Tacoma’s Washington United Terminals.

Washington United is a 110-acre container terminal on the Blair Waterway. The terminal is home to four post-Panamax and two super-post-Panamax cranes capable of handling the largest ships in the world, 51-foot water depth, on-dock rail and a berth measuring 2,600 feet.

 “We are fortunate to have naturally deep water,” Wolfe said, “and we are investing in our terminals and road and rail infrastructure to handle more cargo and the associated super-post-Panamax ships and cranes.”

The ZIM Djibouti is in the PNX trans-Pacific service. Before arriving in Tacoma, it called in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was scheduled to head to Pusan, South Korea on July 11.


Oakland Longshore Workers Picket Terminals

A few dozen longshore workers picketed the APL and SSA Marine terminals at the Port of Oakland the morning of July 9 to protest a potential shift in terminal management that dockworkers say could lead to a reduction in union jobs.

The protest by members of International Longshore & Warehouse Union locals 10 and 91 was conducted between about 7:30 and 9:30 am before an arbitrator ruled the demonstration was unlawful and ordered it to cease.

But while the picket was in progress, it led to trucks being blocked from delivering shipments, and some ships from being unloaded at berths 57-59, located along Middle Harbor Road.

The protest is related to a lease agreement approved July 5 by Oakland’s Board of Harbor Commissioners. Under the agreement, stevedoring company SSA Marine can take over APL’s Global Gateway Central Terminal (GGCT) at berths 60-63.

APL, the largest container carrier in Oakland, is moving its operations in Oakland from GGCT to the adjacent Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) at berths 57-59. The OICT, which is already operated by SSA Marine, is the busiest terminal in the port; about 15 carriers use the facility.

The ILWU contends that the lease agreement will lead to fewer jobs for its members. But despite that contention, ILWU Local 10 President Mike Villeggiante said there are no current plans to resume protesting at a later date.



PortTechEXPO Seeks Sponsors, Exhibitors

PortTech Los Angeles, a business incubator that develops and promotes businesses with clean technologies, has set the date for its fourth annual PortTechEXPO, where companies can connect with business prospects at Southern California’s ports.

This year’s expo, which is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2013 on the Los Angeles waterfront, is expanding to feature clean technology demonstrations, interactive displays and the technology advancements for ports and beyond.

The event is scheduled to showcase up to 100 clean technology exhibitors, presenters and sponsors and hundreds of individual, corporate and civic leaders. PortTechLA currently seeks entrepreneurs, exhibitors, investors, sponsors and industry and community leaders to participate in PortTechEXPO 2013.

At the event, clean technology entrepreneurs would have a chance to connect with investors, increase visibility within domestic and international markets and network with industry leaders, organizers say.

For investors, the expo represents an opportunity to meet a variety of clean technology entrepreneurs and explore the latest clean technology innovations. For industry leaders, the event is a chance to see the latest clean technology products and services.

This year, the daylong event takes place for the first time at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, a large-scale craft marketplace in San Pedro.

More information about the expo, including how to become a sponsor or exhibitor, can be found at, or by calling PortTechLA at (310) 519-1801.

Port of Coos Bay Selling Surplus Property

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is offering surplus property, including surplus concrete dock floats, for sale through a sealed bid process.

Sealed bids are due by 4 p.m., Tues., July 16, 2013, at the Charleston Marina office, 63534 Kingfisher Road.

Bids will be stamped in date/time order, and each float/section will be awarded to the highest bidder. Items are being sold as-is with no warranty. Floats can be viewed 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday by contacting the Marina at (541) 888-2548.

The port says that due to concerns about potential invasive species, floats are required to either remain docked within the Charleston area or be removed from the water for two weeks to allow adequate die off of possible invasive species, then be moved to the final destination.

All associated costs of removal, cleanup, storage and re-launching are the responsibility of the purchaser.

If the floats remain in the Charleston area, the purchaser is required to move the docks within five working days of the bid opening. Or, if the docks will be moved outside of the Charleston harbor, the purchaser is required to remove the floats from the water within five working days of the bid opening.

The floats must remain out of the water for two weeks and may be stored at current rates in the Charleston Shipyard. Purchasers will be required to move the docks within five working days once the dry-out period has ended.

A complete list of dimensions and purchasing requirements can be had by calling the Charleston Marina or visiting

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Business is Stacking Up

Finland’s Konecranes continues its steadfast reputation for cargo handling equipment. In fact, according to Tuomas Saastamoinen, Sales & Marketing Director, the company has been having great success in the United States, boasting high market share with yard cranes, citing more than 400 units alone sold in the US over the past 18 years.

Konecranes’ automated stacking cranes (ASC) are the most technologically-advanced products they have in their crane portfolio, with 20 of them currently due for delivery later this year to Global Terminals in New Jersey. The light crane design, based on the field-proven technology of Konecranes’ RTGs, with its Active Load Control, enables fast and eco-efficient container stacking. Other Konecranes ASC deliveries are ongoing to four terminals in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
In January, Konecranes announced the world’s first hybrid reach stacker, the SMV 4531 TB5 HLT, for container handling, with a lifting capacity of 45 tons. It has a diesel/electric driveline and electrified hydraulic lifting system which helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions while providing better lifting response to driver commands. And while important advances in technology have been helping with global cargo handling equipment environmental concerns, Saastamoinen says in Europe, there is an organization called PEMA (Port Equipment Manufacturers Association) working to push for basic standards in design among crane manufacturers.
“Unfortunately, the industry has not yet been able to provide a standard system of measurement for container crane performances similar to that provided by the automotive industry, or even for household appliances,” says Saastamoinen. “PEMA has been driving an initiative, which we at Konecranes fully support, to provide a standardized system of measuring energy consumption per TEU, with weight and performance data, that would enable realistic comparison.”
“Currently, the problem in the market is there are so many different technologies offered that when statements like 40 to 50 percent savings are put out there, the customer doesn’t know where the actual savings are coming from. That’s why we are trying to get a standard where all crane suppliers would measure the energy consumption cycle so the comparison would be apples to apples. And then on top of that base requirement, you could add auxiliary technologies which may reduce the consumption and emissions further.”
The same goes for driver safety technologies. Konecranes has been continually working on new ways that keep crane drivers focused on the job and not on secondary maneuvers, which their advanced load control technology helps with. “The load stays under the operator’s control so it doesn’t sway and there are no unwanted movements,” explains Saastamoinen. “And again, we are thinking that the core of the equipment has to be in order. Then you can add auxiliary devices that may take the safety aspect further.”
Mi-Jack Products headquartered in Hazel Crest, Illinois, is supplying EcoPower Hybrid Systems, battery GenSet technology on their RTGs for both port and rail applications. Their new EcoCrane hybrid solution can be supplied on new RTG equipment as well as being retrofitted for repowers on RTG’s using conventional diesel electric GenSet.
Back in 2009, Mi-Jack’s EcoPower was placed on the EPA Emerging Technology list, and the following year, was awarded the US EPA Clean Air Excellence Award. After an extended period of duty cycle RTG testing, the EPA has now issued Mi-Jack final verification of EcoPower Hybrid Systems Inc.’s EcoCrane Hybrid System.
“Mi-Jack’s RTG Model 1200R has long-time been the standard crane for rail intermodal operations, and now with its hybrid power solution, has attained even more widespread usage with Class One railroads,” says Dan Reis, Vice President, Port Division. “This same battery GenSet hybrid technology has carried over to port terminal operators who are facing stiff environmental regulations, and by repowering/retrofitting with Mi-Jack’s hybrid system, they have found a cost-effective solution and sound return on investment.”
The EcoCrane Hybrid System uses a battery bank as the primary source of power, allowing the downsizing of the engine from a 6-cylinder (680-1,085 HP) to 4-cylinder Tier 4i (173 HP), reducing fuel consumption up to 70 percent, depending on the duty cycle, and reduced PM and NOx by 70 percent or greater, also giving drivers a break on exhaust emissions and engine noise. “EcoCrane is just one example of Mi-Jack’s EcoPower product portfolio of cutting-edge green type of product advancement we now offer,” says Reis. “We always listen to the end-user and this one has been a winner for Mi-Jack, too.”
Reis also reports Mi-Jack is substituting lead acid type of batteries with Lithium Ion type which has two times or more the energy density. Li-Ion batteries require less space and weight and can be stored prior to usage much longer. “There is no loss of equipment performance with container handling utilizing batteries as primary power source although that’s sometimes a concern with just thinking of battery power versus engine power,” he says.
EARLS Industries located in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, is celebrating their 59th year in a four-generation-run family business and is still the only Ship-to-Shore (STS) spreader manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere. Their Floating Twin-Twenty (T20) spreaders are based on an EARLS U.S.-patented invention which Bruce Coatta, Principal Sales Marketing Corporate Secretary, says set the bar for defining this function world-wide.

The T20 spreaders are driven by hydraulic extension cylinders that are designed, engineered, and manufactured in-house and exclusively use the multi-position (20’/40’/45’) single container handling capability of the typical modern STS container crane spreader. “Our superior product will only be of interest to the end-user who truly is interested in the total life cost,” says Coatta.
Spreader functions, for the most part, relate to the three main functions of the vast majority of container crane spreaders: (1) TL (twistlocks) lock and unlock in the container’s corner castings (2) flippers (corner guides) rotate down to gather onto a container and up to afford clearance into the ship’s cell guides, and (3) extend/retract slide frame motions to accommodate the 20/40/45 ISO container lengths. EARLS spreaders are equipped with fabricated twistlock pins and nuts that are also manufactured in-house.
Coatta reports there have been a few developments in terms of the ‘floating T20’ which improved handling of the nominal 10% of conventional twin-stows, and the ‘separating ST20’ which enabled twin-handling of an additional 5% to 10% of separated or ‘gapped’ twin-stows, each of which is quite significant to the bottom-line of the terminal operator, but the remaining 80 to 85 percent of handling still entails only the three main functions originally listed above.
“The EARLS approach to technological development has been to listen to our end-user customers, and they tell us that improved reliability is the most important consideration moving forward,” says Coatta. “As a result, the EARLS Spreader has been improved to the point that it has a nominal useful working life for an above-average terminal operation in the range of 15 to 20 years of 24/7 front-line operation, as opposed to a more common modern trend toward a throw-away 10-year nominal life product.”
While it might be true that an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach could be applied when it comes to standard crane and spreader design, it’s obvious that in today’s eco-conscious shipping world, it makes sense for manufacturers to continue driving new technological developments that work for both the customer and the ever-changing regulatory environment.


Foss Undergoes Major Reorganization

Foss Marine Holdings announced July 2 that it is merging all of its operations and resources – including Foss Maritime, AMNAV, Young Brothers, Hawaiian Tug & Barge and Cook Inlet Tug & Barge – under a single name: Foss Maritime Co.

“The Foss name is the oldest and most globally recognized name within our family of companies,” unified Foss Maritime President & CEO Paul Stevens said. “It celebrates a rich maritime tradition that includes century-long service and a record of safety, innovation and quality for our customers.”

The move to consolidate all subsidiaries under Foss Maritime Co. Stevens said, signals a move to a simplified operating structure that reduces layers of management and streamlines decision-making.

Under the new structure, Foss Maritime is reorganizing into four divisions. They are:

Marine Transportation Services, headed by former Chief Operating Officer Gary Faber. This division includes the company’s ocean towing and global services including project cargo and logistics.

Technical & Engineering Services. Also headed by Faber, this division includes marine engineering and naval architecture as well as the company’s shipyard operations in Rainier, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.

Harbor Services, headed by Scott Merritt. This division consists of all harbor services such as ship assist and tanker escort activities provided by the company.

Liner Barge Services. Headed by Glenn Hong, this division includes the services of Young Brothers, an intra-island freight and transportation company based in Honolulu.

The new structure’s aim, the company says, is to enhance Foss’ competitive position in a quickly changing market place, improve overall efficiencies and more closely align the company with customer requirements.

“For the vast majority of Foss employees, the reorganization is simply business as usual,” Stevens said.

Stevens also characterized the decision to unify Foss’ operations under a single name as an opportunity to consolidate assets and better focus resources.

“The unification is the next step to enable Foss to focus on new and growing markets, including potential business opportunities in Alaska, where oil and gas activity is gaining strength,” he said.


Longshore Workers, Supporters Picket PMA Offices

Hundreds of current and retired longshore workers picketed Pacific Maritime Association offices along the West Coast on July 8 as part of a protest against a new medical benefits payment system.

As part of what it calls its “Battle for our Benefits” campaign, several hundred International Longshore & Warehouse union members past and present turned up at the PMA Southern California offices in Long Beach, California, while dozens more were at the Association’s offices in Tacoma, Wash. and elsewhere up and down the coast to protest a medical insurance program adopted by the PMA in January.

In Long Beach, scores of workers at Pier B walked off the job to join the one-day protest, resulting in a work stoppage at the terminal. The adjoining Port of Los Angeles, however, reported no stoppage issues associated with the protest.

The Port of Tacoma also reported no work stoppages, which was in contrast to a similar protest conducted in April that resulted in Tacoma’s largest terminal, Washington United, being shut down.

The picketers say they were spurred to protest by the new insurance program’s lateness in paying medical bills. Although some doctors and health care providers are being paid promptly by the association’s benefit management company, Zenith American Solutions, others have been forced into collections because of months-long processing delays, according to numerous ILWU members throughout the West Coast.

However, the PMA, which contracts with ILWU labor, decried the pickets in a statement, saying that the longshore workers were “waging the wrong battle” and that the delays in claim payments were related to medical fraud and abuse, including billing for services that weren’t provided; charging for non-covered services like cosmetic surgery; and inflating patients’ bills with unnecessary charges.

“Rather than picketing employers and disrupting terminal operations as part of its ‘Battle for Our Benefits’ work action, the ILWU members should join PMA in taking aim at tens of millions of dollars in fraud and abuse in the union’s health care plan,” the statement read in part.

The union and PMA are scheduled to debate the issue before an arbitrator on July 16, according to union spokesman Greg Mitre.


Port of LB Hires New Communications Director

After a six month search to fill the position, the Port of Long Beach has decided to hire veteran public affairs director Michael Gold as its new Director of Communications and Community Relations. He starts at the port in mid-July.

The port’s Board of Harbor Commissioners voted Gold to the post at its July 1 meeting. He’s set to replace Heather Morris, who retired after heading the department for over eight years.

“I am thrilled to be joining the outstanding staff at the Port of Long Beach,” Gold said. “As a Long Beach resident, I understand the importance of the port to the local, regional and national economies.”

Gold has over 16 years of experience in the public affairs and legislative fields. Before joining the port, he was public affairs manager for the Orange County Sanitation District, overseeing the communications, outreach and legislative programs for the third-largest wastewater treatment agency west of the Mississippi River.

Earlier in his career, he worked with the League of California Cities serving Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange County.

As communication director, Gold will supervise a 16-person communications and community relations team and direct a budget of more than $4.5 million annually, and will oversee media relations, crisis communications and community and educational outreach efforts.

He’ll also direct the production of community and industry newsletters and other publications, produce video programming, develop international and local advertising and create strategies to promote the advancement of the port.

Gold, a Los Angeles native, holds a master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.


Date Set for 2013 Ferries Conference

A date of Sept. 25 has been set for the 2013 Philips Publishing Group Ferries Conference in Seattle.

The Ferries Conference brings together public transit agencies, port districts, municipalities and other ferry system users, with the operators, architects, engineers and shipyards providing the boats and expertise needed for successful ferry operations.

During the conference, attendees hear from public funding sources, consultants and public and private operators, with the aim being to help introduce, fund and operate ferry systems around the country.

This year’s program is expected to focus on three topics: where ferries might reasonably provide solutions to commuter and community transportation needs; how public transit agencies, municipalities and other parties can determine vessel types, scheduling and pricing; and how to integrate ferry systems into the community by engaging the customer base.

Twenty speakers are planned for the event, including Washington State Congressman Rick Larsen; Capt. George Capacci of the Washington State Dept. of Transportation’s ferries division; and Passenger Vessel Association legislative director Ed Welch.

Attendees are expected to come from three distinct groups:

·         The client -- public transit agencies, municipalities and port districts and private sector interests

·         The vendor -- ferry and passenger vessel operators, naval architects and engineers, boat builders and equipment manufacturers.

·         Funding sources -- federal, state and regional legislative and administrative agencies.

For more information, contact Bill Forslund via email at or by phone at (206) 284-8285.