Friday, August 2, 2013

eNavigation Conference Set for Seattle in November

Outreach and engagement are the themes of the 2013 eNavigation conference, which is sponsored by Pacific Maritime Magazine and set for November in Seattle. The two day event is expected to focus on the real world experience of e-navigation from industry sectors in the US and abroad.

Through interactive discussions, presentation of case studies and examination of real world application of navigational technology, eNavigation 2013 will feature as part of its agenda a presentation by the Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) e-Nav Integrated Action Team regarding progress on the interagency work group’s work plan and recommendation.

Other sessions will examine how other maritime nations are implementing their own e-navigation plans. Also to be discussed is regulatory and legislative change as they relate to e-navigation.

The event, which takes place Nov. 19-20 at the Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue in Seattle, is now open for registration and sponsorships. Early bird registration ends Oct. 28. For registration information, contact Denise Philips at 206-284-8285 or To reserve a sponsorship, contact Bill Forslund at

Mexico Plans Major Port, Rail Investments

The Mexican government says it has plans to revitalize and improve its infrastructure through a five-year program called the Investment Program for Transports and Communications. The program covers highways and roads infrastructure, transport and telecommunication projects.

The major investment, which is expected to be the equivalent of $100 billion (USD), is projected to come from public-private partnerships, according to the government.

Under the Investment Program for Transports and Communications, infrastructure investment would significantly increase compared to that of the administration of the country’s previous president. The program includes seven port projects and three passenger railroad projects as well as 60 road projects including 15 toll-roads, 29 freeways and 16 rural roads.

During the last decade, Mexican ports have gone through a modernizing process that has allowed them to significantly increase cargo movement. Although most of these projects were severely affected by the economic crisis, the gradual economic recovery is allowing the continued development of some of the more important transportation infrastructure projects.

The Mexican government is promoting port project development as part of an effort to improve logistics efficiency and respond to the demand generated by increased international trade. Some of the port projects the government says are to be developed in the next several years include the expansion of the Port of Veracruz and new port facilities in the ports of Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Altamira, Dos Bocas and Tampico.

Although the national investment plan under former Mexico President Felipe Calderon’s administration increased the public and private investment in transportation infrastructure, there are several projects that still need to be developed in order to fill gaps for the transportation of merchandises, products, goods and passengers across the country.

According to the federal government, states like Jalisco, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Michoacan, Queretaro, Puebla, Tlaxcala and Estado de Mexico are likely to be the ones receiving most of the investment during this administration.

More on the infrastructure program and construction opportunities can be seen at's%20Infrastructure%20Webinar%20Series%202013-2018%20flyer%204_Latest_eg_mx_064170.pdf.


Tags: Investment Program for Transports and Communications, Port of Veracruz, Port of Lazaro Cardenas

Tacoma Port Hires New Ops Center Head

The Port of Tacoma has hired well-traveled industry veteran Dustin Stoker to lead the port’s new operations center.

In his new position, Stoker is responsible for overall port operations, including waterway management, road and rail functions and break bulk and terminal operations.

Stoker brings more than 14 years of experience in both domestic and international terminal management. Before joining the port, Stoker was director of Deltaport Operations with Terminal Systems, Inc. at the Port Metro Vancouver in British Columbia from August 2011 to July 2013.

He also previously served as the chief operations officer at Abu Dhabi Terminals from September 2010 to August 2011; and as general manager of the APM Terminals container facility within the Port of Salalah from December 2008 to September 2010.

His professional background also includes holding management positions at the APM Terminals facilities in the Netherlands and the Port of Los Angeles between 2005 and 2008.

He was previously based at the Port of Tacoma for nearly five years, between March 2000 and January 2005, as a manager of yard, gate and vessel operations for APM.

Stoker earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management from the University of Washington in 2002.


Panama Terminal to Undergo $66 Million Expansion

Evergreen Group, which owns Panama’s Colon Container Terminal (CCT), has awarded China Harbor Engineering Co. (CHEC) a $66 million contract to develop the terminal, which sits at the entrance to the Panama Canal.

The expansion project involves the build of a new 1,138-foot dock and 8.5-hectare container storage yard to increase CCT’s capacity to 1.5 million TEU.

In addition to CCT, CHEC is currently working on a number of port related projects in Latin America, including the $220 million expansion of Mexico’s Manzanillo port on behalf of ICTSI.

CHEC says it expects the CCT project to be completed by July 2015, right around the time of the opening of the underway Panama Canal expansion project. The expansion, which began about six years ago, is expected to double the canal’s capacity. It was almost 45 percent complete as of Aug. 31, 2012. The project, which was officially kicked off in September 2007, creates a new lane of traffic along the canal by constructing a new set of locks.

Among the project’s components are the excavations of new access channels, the widening of existing channels and the deepening of navigation channels. The expansion is expected to allow post-Panamax ships to travel through the canal en route to East Coast terminals, something that could negatively affect West Coast vessel traffic.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Former Longview Exec Hired at Port of Port Angeles

Former Port of Longview Executive Director Ken O’Hollaren, who retired at the end of 2012 after more than three decades on the job, is back, but this time at the Port of Port Angeles.

On July 29, the Port Angeles Port Commission unanimously voted to hire O’Hollaren as the port’s interim executive director. He’s expected to start the week of Aug. 5.

According to commission President Jim Hallett, O’Hollaren will earn roughly $11,500 a month for about six to nine months while the port seeks a permanent executive director.

O’Hollaren’s hiring is the latest twist in an odd, ongoing saga surrounding the executive director job. Jeff Robb resigned from the position June 24 citing health reasons, but was immediately rehired by the three-member commission as director of environmental affairs, a newly created position for which he’s scheduled to earn the same salary as when he held the top executive job.

Port Commissioner John Calhoun later revealed that Robb was given the job because the port feared the potential of a lawsuit over a dysfunctional relationship between Robb and senior staff members.

The handling of Robb’s resignation and immediate rehiring has drawn the ire of local, regional and state watchdog groups, including the Washington Coalition for Open Government, which on July 22 sent the commission a letter chastising it for its actions and petitioning for the removal of Robb from the environmental affairs director post.

O’Hollaren, until his retirement, had been the longest-tenured port director in Washington state, and one of the longest-tenured maritime executives on the West Coast. He joined the Port of Longview as assistant operations manager in 1980, and was its executive director from January 1988 through December 2012.

At the Port of Port Angeles, he will technically be a contractor during his several-month tenure, with the port obtaining his services through Seattle-based executive search firm Waldron & Co.


MARAD Reveals Shipyard Grant Recipients

Twelve shipyards across the United States, including one in Washington state, have been awarded a total of $9.46 million in grants for a variety of projects including infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades to increase operational competitiveness and quality vessel construction.

Out of the dozen shipyards announced as award recipients by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) on July 24, only All American Marine is located on the West Coast.

Bellingham, Washington-based All American Marine was awarded $999,100, which the company says it will use for overhead cranes, welding machines, a CNC router, scissors lifts, painting area upgrades and ventilation upgrades.

The federal grants are provided through MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program, which is designed to foster efficiency and modernizations that allow shipyards to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

“Improvements at our shipyards mean more ships can be built right here in the United States, which means more jobs for hard-working Americans,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a prepared statement. “These grants are about creating new opportunities in our local communities, as well as competing in the global economy.”

For the latest round of awards, MARAD said it received 113 grant applications requesting a total of $96 million in assistance, over 10 times more than the $9.46 million available.

In addition to All American Marine, funding recipients include Seacraft Shipyard, LLC in Amelia, Louisiana, which received the largest portion of the funding -- $1.1 million -- for a marine travelift; and C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, which was granted $999,920 for a 220-ton hydraulic crane.

Other grant recipients are based throughout the U.S., including in New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Maryland. A full list of recipient shipyards and award amounts can be downloaded at



San Pedro Bay Ports Honor Air Quality Award Winners

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach recently honored five companies for their efforts in fighting harmful emissions during the 2013 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Air Quality Awards in San Pedro.

The CAAP Air Quality Awards originated in 2007, after the ports approved the historic San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Port tenants and other port-related businesses are eligible to submit award entries, which are judged by a panel composed of port staff and representatives from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Awards this year were given in three categories, including:

Air Quality Leadership at the Corporate Level, where the recipients were global shipping and logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL); and container transportation, logistics and terminal company OOCL USA.

In 2012, WWL’s new, ultra-modern Salome vessel was the first to qualify for an incentive under the Port of Long Beach’s Green Ship Incentive Program, a voluntary clean air initiative that rewards ocean carriers whose ships are equipped with Tier II or III engines.

In 2012, OOCL signed a “green” lease with the Port of Long Beach pledging to reduce harmful emissions by 50 percent, even as the company plans to double growth.  OOCL says it plans to achieve this by using shore power to reduce emissions while at port, as well as by continuing its participation in the ports’ Vessel Speed Reduction Program, an initiative that involves the lowering of vessel speeds to reduce emissions when ships approach the port. Also in 2012, OOCL joined the Port of Los Angeles’ Environmental Ship Index incentive program, a voluntary clean air initiative that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to the Port of Los Angeles.

The second category in which companies were honored was Innovative Air Quality Improvement Technologies, and the two recipients were Foss Maritime Co. and APL.

In 2012, Foss voluntarily retrofitted another tugboat for operation in the harbor as well, creating the worlds second hybrid tug.

APL, meanwhile, was the first company to install and test “seawater scrubber” technology on a container ship calling at the two ports. The technology involved the installation of a single low-maintenance seawater scrubbing device on the ship’s three auxiliary engines, which helped reduce contaminants in the exhaust stream and removed waste from the wash water prior to discharge overboard. The scrubber reduced SOx emissions by as much as 99 percent and 70 percent for PM when running on HFO (heavy fuel oil), and 97 percent for SOx and 78 percent for PM when using MGO (marine gas oil).

The third award category was Innovative Operations That Improve Air Quality. This award went to trucking company Knight Transportation.

Half of the company’s roughly 300 trucks operating at the two ports are 2010 or newer, which exceeds current requirements. Engines on the 2010 and newer trucks have reduced CO emissions by about 18 percent and NOx emissions by 90 percent, according to estimates. Knight has also modified about 97 percent of its van trailers with blade technology that reduces fuel consumption by seven percent. In addition, 100 percent of its tractors are equipped with diesel-fired bunk heaters, thus reducing a driver’s need to idle trucks during the cooler winter months.

“Because of the innovative initiatives of our partners, overall diesel emissions are down by an amazing 75 percent, and we continue to advance toward our goal of zero emissions,” Port of Long Beach Acting Deputy Executive Director Noel Hacegaba said.  “We congratulate these companies whose initiatives are setting the standard for ports around the world.”


Study: APM Terminals First in Productivity

APM Terminals Yokohama has been ranked the most productive terminal in the world by a recently released study by trade and transportation intelligence and data company JOC Group.

The results of the study were revealed July 26. They were based on five years of data collected from 600 terminals at 400 ports and 17 global shipping lines representing 70 percent of the global liner fleet and over 100,000 port calls.

APM Terminals Yokohama, which handled 875,000 TEUs in 2012, operated at a productivity level of 150 moves per hour (MPH), 26 percent more than its closest rival. APM Terminals Mumbai, India’s busiest container terminal in 2012 with 1.96 million TEUs handled, ranked first among terminals working vessels of less than 8,000 TEU capacity, with 101 MPH.

In the Americas geographic region, APM Terminals Port Elizabeth, at the Port of New York and New Jersey ranked second with 82 MPH. The terminal handled 1.1 million TEUs in 2012.

The study, which was prepared by US-based JOC Group, which includes the Journal of Commerce, and the PIERs data service, noted that terminal efficiency has become an increasingly important aspect in shipping lines’ operational calculus, as schedule integrity and fuel costs have become much more significant factors in achieving customer satisfaction as well as a healthy bottom line.

The rankings are expected to become an annual Journal of Commerce publication feature.