Tuesday, December 27, 2016

TIL Inks Deal to Replace Hanjin at POLB

By Mark Edward Nero

New cargo business could be coming to the Port of Long Beach’s largest terminal soon after the port’s harbor board approved an agreement to replace a vessel operator that declared bankruptcy four months ago.

On Dec. 22, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners okayed the move by a subsidiary of vessel operator Mediterranean Shipping Co. to take over sole control of the long-term lease of the port’s 381-acre Pier T container terminal.

MSC previously held a minority stake in the lease for Pier T, which is the terminal where over a quarter of the port’s container cargo is moved.

The port says the new agreement with MSC subsidiary Terminal Investment Ltd. (TIL) also guarantees the accelerated installation of ship-to-shore cranes capable of handling the world’s biggest container ships.

TIL takes control of Pier T from Hanjin Shipping, the South Korean ocean carrier that declared bankruptcy on Aug. 31. In 2015, Hanjin accounted for about 12 percent of the containers that moved through Long Beach. The deal comes at a crucial time, Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán said.

“With all of the changes that have taken place in the shipping industry in recent years, certainty is very important,” she remarked. “Although we regret the loss of a long-term partner in Hanjin Shipping, we look forward to the opportunities that Terminal Investment Limited, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hyundai Merchant Marine and their ‘2M Alliance’ partners will bring to Long Beach.”

Earlier this month, Terminal Investment Limited announced that it had signed an agreement to purchase Hanjin Shipping’s stake in the terminal operator at Pier T.

The new pact also requires installation of two new cranes capable of handling container ships with capacities of 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units within three years.

NW Seaport Alliance to Bid on Navy Ship Berthing

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 19, the Northwest Seaport Alliance held a special meeting to approve a plan under which the Alliance would join Foss Maritime in an effort to win a contract to berth the USNS Bob Hope at a North Harbor terminal. Should Foss and the NWSA be successful in winning the bid, the ship would berth at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5. The Navy plans to run the ship on shore power while at berth, according to the Alliance.

The 951-foot long USNS Bob Hope, which has a beam of 106 feet and a maximum draft of 34 feet and 10 inches, is the first ship in the US Navy's first class of large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships (LMSR), and is part of the Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC).

The primary mission of such ships is to transport shore-based equipment and supplies in support of military and humanitarian operations. They participate in recovery efforts in the event of a widespread natural disaster.

The vessels are operated by 30 civilian mariners who work for a private company under contract to MSC, and up to 50 embarked military personnel who monitor and maintain the equipment being transported.

The ships are maintained in reduced operational status, which means they’re operationally ready in four days. The Seaport Alliance, which is the name of the maritime operating agreement between the Seattle and Tacoma seaports, has said that this type of interim use for Terminal 5 is part of a plan to diversify cargo and maximize terminal use.

A contract to berth the vessel could bring in about $500,000 annually, according to Alliance staff. But it would in no way, the Alliance has said, interfere with a current terminal modernization plan.

Oakland Monthly Container Volumes Up Slightly

By Mark Edward Nero

Although an 11.5 percent increase in full container imports was a boon for the Port of Oakland last month, it was offset by a nearly 24 percent drop in empty exports, resulting in just a 2.3 percent rise in overall cargo volumes compared to the same month last year.

Data shows that November’s 11.5 percent containerized export volume increase was the third straight month of double-digit growth and the 10th time exports have risen this year.

The port has said that exports are surging despite a strengthening dollar that makes American products more expensive overseas. Strong Asian demand for California farm products, wine and other beverages is spurring the rally, according to the port.

“If you listen to conventional wisdom, exports should be facing headwinds,” Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “But the clamor overseas for high-quality American commodities hasn’t peaked, so our volumes keep climbing.”

The port said it shipped 85,915 TEUs last month, which is its second-highest total of 2016, after October’s 89,400 units.

Through 11 months of this year Oakland export volume is up 10.3 percent, while containerized imports are up 4.5 percent and total loaded container volume has increased 7.4 percent.

Port data shows that exports have accounted for 52 percent of its loaded cargo volume in 2016, while imports account for the other 48 percent. The port’s complete 2016 TEU volumes data can be seen at http://www.portofoakland.com/port/seaport/facts-and-figures/

POLA Names New Deputy Police Chief

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Los Angeles has appointed Michael Graychik as its deputy chief of police. Graychik was sworn in to his new position at the Dec. 15 Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting.

In his new role, Graychik is to oversee emergency management, marine and patrol, and support service operations at the Los Angeles Port Police. He will also serve as a member of the Port Police executive team and report to Port Police Chief Tom Gazsi.

Graychik has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience, having started his career as an officer at Los Angeles World Airports. In 1986 he transferred to the Port of Los Angeles and has held numerous positions during his three decades of service at the port.

He fills the position that became vacant when Gazsi was promoted from deputy chief to Port Police Chief in December 2015. Gazsi’s promotion came as a result of then-Chief Ronald Boyd being indicted in April 2015 on federal tax evasion charges. Boyd pleaded guilty in February 2016.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Port of LA Receives Clean Terminal Equipment Grants

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Los Angeles said Dec. 16 that it has secured a $5.8 million state grant to purchase and test a new fleet of 25 zero and near-zero emission yard tractors at the Everport marine container terminal.

The grant is also expected to fund a companion project to equip 100 more drayage trucks with smart technology aimed at reducing emissions by streamlining their time on the road and improving the flow of containers to and from the port complex.

The POLA was awarded the grant by the California Energy Commission, which supports freight transportation projects at California seaports under its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, whose purpose is to advance commercialization of clean fuels and technologies that cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce petroleum use and improve the health and quality of life of communities disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution.

The port is partnering with Everport Terminal Services to test 25 off-road tractors powered by either electricity or liquefied natural gas by incorporating them into the daily operations of the 205-acre marine container terminal.

Over the next three years, the port says it and its partners will demonstrate the new yard equipment and smart technology and track their operational efficiency, viability, reduction of GHG emissions and other key pollutants, and fuel savings.

Results are expected in 2018.

Other partners in the zero and near-zero-emissions yard tractor project, which will receive more than $4.8 million of the CEC funding, are:

• BYD Motors Inc., which is providing four new electrified yard tractors and retrofitting an existing electric tractor built by Balqon Corp.;

• Capacity Trucks, providing 20 near-zero emission yard tractors with LNG-powered engines manufactured by Cummins Westport Inc.; • Harbor Diesel and Equipment Inc., an authorized Capacity Trucks dealer, and.;

• Clean Energy Fuels Corp., providing renewable natural gas and mobile fueling equipment.

The remainder of the grant, almost $1 million, is to support ongoing large-scale testing of smart technology known as FRATIS, the port says.

FRATIS is a sophisticated intelligent transportation system that analyzes data from multiple sources to come up with the most efficient schedule, route and container information for drivers, dispatchers and cargo owners.

Specific technologies that are being tested include: real-time traffic information being obtained from the California Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; automated ETA messaging to the terminals one day in advance of truck arrival; and deployment of an algorithm which would optimize drayage throughout the day and region.

The system is designed to reduce travel times inside and outside the terminals, which in turn would reduce congestion, emissions and fuel consumption. The demonstration phase of the existing project involves 200 trucks and several trucking companies, and is expected to commence in early 2017.

Seattle-Tacoma Ports Record Biggest November Volumes in 5 Years

By Mark Edward Nero

Import and export volumes at the Seattle-Tacoma port complex last month were the strongest for a November in the last five years, according to newly-released data.

Full imports and exports for November reflect a continued solid peak season at the Northwest Seaport Alliance, with 28 percent and 23 percent increases, respectively, compared with November 2015, according to data.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which is the name for the joint operating agreement between the Seattle and Tacoma ports, said the ports had four more international vessel calls in November than it did in October, and three more than it did last November.

The top import commodities moving through the gateway include furniture, apparel, toys/games and footwear, while the top export commodities include hay, forest products, apples and potatoes.

Year to date, laden imports are up six percent to 1,268,049 TEUs, and full exports increased 14 percent to 897,785 TEUs. The year’s total container volumes are up almost two percent through November to 3,299,538 TEUs.

Year to date domestic volumes however, have been down as Alaska struggles with a decrease in oil- and gas-related project activity due to low commodity prices. November’s overall domestic volume showed an increase due to additional sailing, compared to the prior year.

In other cargo news: Seattle-Tacoma breakbulk cargo is down 24 percent year to date to 165,836 metric tons as the global downturn in agricultural, mining and construction equipment, and a strong US dollar impact volumes.

Also, log exports declined 36 percent year to date to 150,962 metric tons due to decreased demand in China and competition from New Zealand. Additionally, vehicle shipping fell 10 percent to 151,985 units for the month because of what the Seaport Alliance said were production issues as well as supply chain shifts.

POLB Releases On-Dock Rail Proposal Draft Report

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 15, the Port of Long Beach released a draft environmental study on a proposal to redevelop a rail yard to allow for the assembly of longer trains within the harbor. The study analyzes the impacts of the proposed development and mitigation measures that would address those impacts.

The proposed Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility would shift more cargo at Long Beach to on-dock rail, where containers are placed directly on trains at marine terminals. The port says no trucks would visit the facility.

The rail yard would be operated by Pacific Harbor Line, a switching railroad that has converted its fleet to clean diesel locomotives that reduce air pollution and save fuel.

“The proposed development would enhance the efficiency of goods movement at the Port of Long Beach,” Interim POLB CEO Duane Kenagy said. “This project is vital to our efforts to modernize the port and continue to lead the way in environmental sustainability.” The port’s Draft Environmental Impact Report on the on-dock rail facility is available at www.polb.com/ceqa

Comments on the DEIR are being accepted through Feb. 13, 2017, and can be mailed to Heather Tomley, Director of Environmental Planning, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815 or emailed to heather.tomley@polb.com

Two public hearings will be held in January to offer the public an opportunity to comment in person on the document:

6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st St., Long Beach, CA 90810; and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Port of Long Beach Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815.

More information at the proposed project and draft EIR is available at www.polb.com/PierB

Port of Oakland Exec to Head Bay Planning Coalition

By Mark Edward Nero

A Port of Oakland planning and environmental expert has been chosen as the next president of the Bay Planning Coalition. The trade group’s 36-member Board of Directors selected Richard Sinkoff to a two-year term in early December.

Sinkoff is Director of Environmental Programs and Planning at the Port of Oakland. In his new role with the Planning Coalition, he’ll lead a 200-member alliance that’s considered the voice of the working waterfront on San Francisco Bay.

It includes port authorities, dredgers, private industry and public agencies and supports policies that link Bay Area economic growth to maritime activity, goods movement and environmental protection.

“San Francisco Bay is at the heart of our economy, our environment and our region’s exceptional quality of life,” Sinkoff said in a statement. “I’m honored to lead an industrial organization that keeps all of those responsibilities in sharp perspective.”

At the port, Sinkoff manages a team responsible for implementing policies that make trade and transportation compatible with environmental sustainability. In October, he announced findings showing that the Port of Oakland has reduced diesel emissions 76 percent since 2005.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Maritime Commission Approves Major New Carrier Alliance

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 14, the Federal Maritime Commission announced that it has concluded its review of the proposed “THE Alliance” and is allowing it to go into effect as of Dec. 19.

The so-called “THE Alliance” is comprised of five different container shipping companies: Hapag-Lloyd; K Line; MOL; NYK; and Yang Ming. THE is an acronym for Transport High Efficiency.
Under the terms of the deal, “THE Alliance” members are permitted to share vessels, charter and exchange space on each other’s ships and enter cooperative working arrangements.

The scope of the agreement applies only to trade lanes between the United States and other nations. Cargo moved by carriers in “THE Alliance” that does not originate or terminate in the United States isn’t covered by this agreement.

Attorneys for “THE Alliance” submitted the application to establish the agreement to US authorities on Nov. 4, after which the Maritime Commission made no requests for additional information, thereby clearing the way for the agreement to come into force within the initial 45-day review period.
The Commission said its members’ vote to allow the agreement to become effective followed “a period of substantive and constructive discussion” with the parties.

“I am very cognizant of the concerns industry stakeholders had regarding provisions in this agreement, particularly those related to information sharing and joint procurement,” Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero said. “This office will continue to carefully focus on the impacts of the carrier alliance restructuring that is taking place in the shipping industry.”

POLB Monthly Container Volumes Drop Steeply

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach says shifting alliance routes and the Hanjin bankruptcy continued to affect its container volumes last month, resulting in container traffic being 13.8 percent lower than during the same month last year.

A total of 534,308 TEUs moved through the harbor last month. Of that amount, 270,610 were imports, which was a drop of 11.8 percent from November 2015’s imports. Exports declined 3.1 percent to 120,897 TEUs last month, while empty TEUs numbered 142,801, 24.2 percent off.

Through the first 11 months of 2016, Long Beach has moved 6.22 million TEUs, which is 5.6 percent behind the same point last year and far behind the adjoining Port of Los Angeles’ 8.0 million TEUs during the same 11-month time period.

The late-2016 numbers are a sharp contrast from when the port experienced its second-best November ever in 2015. Last November was part of a six-month run of gains, at the end of which Long Beach ended the year above seven million TEUs for only the third time in its history.

This year, however, the port has faced challenges as ocean carriers have merged, reorganized into new alliances and realigned routes. Additionally, a major customer, Hanjin Shipping, declared bankruptcy at the end of August.

Hanjin represented 12.3 percent of Long Beach’s containerized volume and held a 54 percent stake in Total Terminals International, the operator of Pier T, one of the port’s largest, most modern terminals.

Despite the declines, however, Long Beach remains the second-busiest North American seaport, behind the Port of LA. The latest monthly Long Beach cargo numbers and more detailed cargo numbers are available at www.polb.com/stats.

Bollinger Delivers Alaska Cutter to USCG

By Mark Edward Nero

Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the USCGC John McCormick, a Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the US Coast Guard. The FRC will be stationed in the 17th Coast Guard District in Ketchikan, Alaska and will assist in defending US interests in the Alaskan maritime region.

The 154-foot patrol craft is the 21st vessel in the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class FRC program, and the first FRC to be stationed at Ketchikan, Alaska. Previous cutters have been stationed in the 7th Coast Guard District in Florida or San Juan, Puerto Rico, and two have been stationed in the 5th Coast Guard District in Cape May, NJ.

To build the John McCormick, Louisiana-based Bollinger used an in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology and a stern launch system for the vessel’s 26-foot cutter boat.

The vessel is named after Coast Guard hero John McCormick, who was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on November 7, 1938 for his heroic action in affecting the rescue of Surfman Richard O. Bracken in treacherous conditions in the outer breaks on Clatsop Spit, near the mouth of the Columbia River.

The Coast Guard took delivery on Dec. 13 in Key West, Florida and is scheduled to commission the vessel in Ketchikan, Alaska in April, 2017.


POLA Registers Another Record Cargo Month

By Mark Edward Nero

For the second straight month, containerized cargo flowing through the Port of Los Angeles has surpassed all-time volumes for a North American port, newly released data show.

Port of LA terminals processed 877,564 TEUs the data show, eclipsing October 2016’s all-time record of 814,574 TEUs. November volumes were up 23.6 percent compared to November 2015.

Overall container volumes were 877,564 TEUs last month, led by a 26 percent surge in empty containers, followed by a 25 percent jump in exports to 177,359 TEUs and a 22 percent imports increase of 22 percent to 437,050 TEUs.

“We are grateful to the cargo owners who see the value in this trade corridor, and to our container terminal customers, labor and other supply chain partners who, working together, efficiently processed this extraordinary surge of holiday season cargo,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said.

Total cargo volumes through the first 11 months of 2016 stand at 8,060,246 TEUs, an increase of seven percent compared to the same period last year, and far ahead of the 6.2 million units shipped through the adjoining Port of Long Beach during the same 11-month time period.

So far for the calendar year, which began July 1, the POLA has seen 3.9 million TEUs, an 8.15 percent jump over the 3.63 million units moved during the same five-month period last year.
Current and past data container counts for the Port of Los Angeles are available at http://www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seaspan Receives Dual-Fuel/Hybrid Ferry

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 9, British Columbia-based Seaspan Ferries Corp. announced the arrival of Seaspan Swift, the first of two new dual-fuel/hybrid ferries, to its fleet.

The new vessel, currently docked at the company’s Tilbury Terminal in Delta, B.C., arrived after an eight-week journey that spanned 10,661 nautical miles following its construction at a shipyard in Istanbul, Turkey.

The 489-foot ferry, which can accommodate up to 59 trailers, is expected to undergo a series of regulatory inspections and crew training programs throughout December before entering operation on Jan. 2.

Seaspan Swift, along with its sister ship, Seaspan Reliant, mark the first vessels added to the Seaspan Ferries fleet since 2002. Seaspan Reliant, the company’s second dual-fuel/hybrid ferry, is nearing completion and undergoing testing and trials in Turkey, is expected to arrive in Tilbury in early 2017, the company says.

Earlier this month, Seaspan Swift, with assistance from engineering company Vard, gas distributor FortisBC and ship deliverer Redwise, was successfully bunkered for the first time, using a tanker truck to deliver LNG on board the vessel.

Seaspan Ferries operates a fleet of seven ferries out of five terminals in British Columbia, and supplies more than 50 percent of all cargo to Vancouver Island.

Massive Floating Dry Dock Arrives in San Diego

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 8, BAE Systems received a new 950-foot-long, 55,000-long-ton floating dry dock at its San Diego shipyard. The dry dock, BAE says, is part of the company’s $100 million investment in the yard to service the anticipated increase of US Navy ships on the West Coast.

The new floating dry dock arrived at the company’s shipyard towed by the ocean-going and salvage tug POSH Terasea Eagle.

Over the next two months, the BAE Systems team says, it plans to complete final assembly, installation, testing, and certification of the dry dock, which is expected to be operational in early 2017. The first ship to be serviced in the dry dock will be the San Diego-homeported amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans.

“We have made the strategic investment to meet the ship repair needs of the Navy,” BAE Systems Ship Repair Vice President and General Manager Joe Campbell said in a statement. “With two large dry docks now in our shipyard, we’ll enhance the San Diego industrial base’s ability to repair warships in their homeport, providing the key maintenance and modernization work needed for the ships’ continued service to our nation and the stability for the ships’ crews.”

The new dry dock is 950 feet long, 205 feet wide and has a lift capacity of 55,000-long-ton ship weight, making it capable of accommodating amphibious assault ships, auxiliary ships, cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships, transport dock and dock landing ships, and select commercial vessels.

It uses all electric power and its environmental features include LED lighting throughout the structure; a non-toxic underwater hull and ballast tank coating; storm water recovery systems; closed-loop salt water fire protection and cooling systems; and air-cooled emergency backup generators.

POLA Breaks Ground on $15 Million Improvement Project

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 8, the Port of Los Angeles joined local officials and community leaders to kick off construction of the Harbor Boulevard Roadway Improvements Project, a reconfigured three-street intersection at Harbor Boulevard, Seventh Street and Sampson Way in San Pedro.

The street realignment is in preparation of the planned San Pedro Public Market, slated to open in 2020 at the current Ports O’ Call Village plaza site on the San Pedro section of the LA Waterfront.

“The redevelopment of Ports O' Call will have a positive ripple effect for the entire Harbor Area community,” L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino said.

The realignment is expected to improve both vehicular and pedestrian access with a new traffic signal at the intersection of Harbor Boulevard, Seventh Street and Sampson Way, bike lanes, landscaping, outdoor lighting, and walkways.

In addition, the new intersection would also provide another point for connectivity to other LA Waterfront attractions, including the World Cruise Center, Battleship Iowa and Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

“Realigning Harbor Boulevard and Sampson Way is another significant step in a series of projects,” L.A. Harbor Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi Jr. said. “Once this is completed, we’ll be rolling right into the next phase – construction of an all-new Town Square at Sixth Street, another waterfront promenade and a new public access recreational boat dock.”

During construction, both Harbor Boulevard and Sampson Way are expected to remain open, with partial lane closures from Seventh to 11th streets. Once the realignment is complete, Harbor Boulevard would flow into the Ports O’ Call Village seaside plaza, with direct access to the LA Waterfront.

Construction of the new roadway is expected to be completed in 2018 at a total project cost of $14.8 million, paid by the Port of Los Angeles, including $4.9 million in grant funding from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

POLA Wins Creativity and Innovation Award

By Mark Edward Nero

The American Public Works Association’s Southern California Chapter has named the Port of Los Angeles winner of the APWA’s Creativity and Innovation BEST award for the port’s Berths 142-147 Trapac Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) project.

The $71 million project included construction of a new semi-automated on-dock rail yard at TraPac Container Terminal, with the yard featuring eight working tracks, concrete foundations to support up to four new rail mounted gantry cranes, a train-in-motion warning system, automatic rail switches and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment.

A $20.7 million California Transportation Commission grant went toward funding for the project.

“We are extremely proud to be singled out for this prestigious award,” said Tony Gioiello, deputy executive director of the port’s Development Group, which includes the port’s construction, maintenance, engineering and goods movement divisions. “This project exemplifies the port’s continued investment in innovation that keeps us relevant and competitive in today’s fast-paced international trade arena.”

The American Public Works Association, which is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 29,000 members involved in the field of public works. APWA promotes professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge. APWA has 63 chapters in North America, with APWA Southern California Chapter being one of nine in the state.

The Southern California Chapter of APWA grants awards to public agencies for public works projects or programs demonstrating resourcefulness and imagination.

Friday, December 9, 2016

BC Ferries Pilot Project Reduces Vessel Energy Consumption

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 6, BC Ferries released the results of a pilot project that reduced the energy consumption of the passenger vessel Queen of Oak Bay by the equivalent of 30 sailings.

The process initially started in 2013 with an audit to assess electrical energy usage. In a follow up project through to 2015, BC Ferries partnered in the development and demonstration of an energy optimization software tool. This software was deployed to collect and manage electricity data for more than 20 areas on board the ship and provided generator metrics as well. The benefits of the initiative, BC Ferries says, were a reduction in fuel consumption, cost and associated carbon emissions, as well as improved asset life and reduced maintenance costs.

Since the initial energy audit, a number of initiatives have been implemented, including:

• Installation of variable delivery pumps to improve the efficiency of steering hydraulics, resulting in an estimated savings of 38,000 kWh per year;

• Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to improve control of accommodation fans, estimated to save about 200,000 kWh annually;

• Replacement of car deck lighting with more efficient LEDs, likely to save over 115,000 kWh per year, and;

• Additional projects, including air conditioning plant upgrades and solar film coating for windows.

BC Ferries says consumption reductions from the above initiatives are being monitored in the new software and are on target for a reduction of more than 272 tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to removing about 57 passenger vehicles per year.

The company also said similar measures will be rolled out to other existing vessels where possible and that energy efficiency measures can be designed into new build vessels.

This project, which was supported by Transport Canada and is a joint initiative with 3GA Marine, Clearlead Consulting and Panevo Services, had an objective to develop and demonstrate a Ship Service Energy Optimization software tool that would provide an audit function to determine major ship service power consumers and enable an optimization function from both a technological and operational perspective, thereby reducing emissions.

“Thanks to the Transport Canada-sponsored initiative and deployment of the new energy software, not only can we actively measure energy usage, we can also put control variables in place across the system to ensure savings,” BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering Mark Wilson said.

Alameda’s Bay Maritime Buys Svendsen’s Boat Works

By Mark Edward Nero

Alameda, California-based Svendsen’s Boat Works has been acquired by Alameda’s Bay Maritime Corp., the companies announced Dec. 6.

Svendsen’s Boat Works had been a family-owned and operated company since 1963. The sale also includes Svendsen’s Marine Distributing, Svendsen’s Metal Works, Svendsen’s Chandlery and Svendsen’s Marine International.

Alameda’s Bay Maritime is the parent company to Bay Marine Boatworks, Bay Ship & Yacht and its affiliates of Bay Propeller, Bay Engineering & Design, Bay Machine & Fabrication, the Fleet Services Division and Bay Industrial & Marine Supply.

Svendsen’s is expected to continue operating under the Svendsen’s name and provide full-service boat repair at its boatyard at the Alameda Marina, as well as supply marine products to commercial customers through its established distribution network.

Sean Svendsen will continue as General Manager of Svendsen’s.

“Our customers will find that it’s business as usual,” he said. “We’re also very excited about the opportunity for growth and expansion of our Svendsen’s brand through synergy created with the Bay Maritime group of companies.”

Established in 1977, Bay Maritime and its affiliates are owned and operated by President Bill Elliott and General Manager Alan Cameron, and include a full-service ship repair facility in Alameda, Bay Ship & Yacht, as well as a full-service boatyard in Richmond, Calif., Bay Marine Boatworks.

“Svendsen’s has been one of our chief product suppliers for decades, so we know the company and its employees well, and intend to continue the innovative path established by the Svendsen family for the past five-plus decades,” Bay Maritime President Bill Elliott said.

Robert Allan Ltd., Turkish Shipyard Ink Tug Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Vancouver, British Columbia-based naval architect and marine engineering company Robert Allan Ltd. has signed a contract with Uzmar Shipyard of Turkey for a new high performance escort tug project.

The two companies signed the documents at the recent International Workboat Show, held Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 in New Orleans.

“I am delighted to witness the signing of this design contract with Uzmar that will spur the building of new market leading tugs allowing owners to quickly respond to today’s demanding tender requirements,” Jim Hyslop, Robert Allan Ltd.’s Manager, Project Development, said.

Uzmar has built more than 90 Robert Allan Ltd. designed tugs and workboats since the first project in 1996, ranging in size from 15-meter aluminum catamarans, to 36-meter escort tugs, to 46-meter shallow draft pushboats.

This contract covers a new RAstar 3000-W design setup to accommodate propulsion packages of up to 90 tons of bollard pull while still staying under 500 GT.

These modern escort tugs will have the following key features: an overall length of 30 meters; a moulded beam of 13.20 meters; and an overall maximum draft of 5.70 meters.

The vessels are expected to begin construction in Turkey in early 2017 and be available for delivery to international clients in 2018.

Marcon Brokers Sale of 2 McAllister Tugs

By Mark Edward Nero

On Dec. 5, Coupeville, Wash.-based vessel and barge broker Marcon International reported its seventh and eighth tug sales of the year: the deliveries of the 4,300 HP, tugs Colleen McAllister and Katie G. McAllister to Port City Marine Services of Muskegon, Michigan.

The 124-foot by 33.1-foot tugs were built in 1967 and 1966 respectively by Gulfport Shipbuilding Corp. of Port Arthur, Texas for Gulf Coast Transit, a subsidiary of TECO Transport & Trade of Tampa, Florida. McAllister Towing & Transportation of New York purchased both tugs from TECO Transport in 2003. The Colleen McAllister and Katie G. McAllister are both fitted with raised forecastle bows and elevated pilothouses with 45 to 47-foot heights of eye and powered by twin EMD 12-645E5s with Falk 4.27:1 gears and fixed pitch open props.

Towing gear consists of Markey TYS 36 single drum, two-speed tow winches with a capacity of 2,200’ of 2.25” wire. Tugs are classed ABS +A1, Towing Service, +AMS, Unrestricted Service.

The Colleen McAllister left New York City for Muskegon under tow of the Katie G. McAllister.

Estimated time of arrival is just prior to Christmas, depending on weather and seaway traffic.

The new owners say they intend to outfit both tugs with Bludworth AT/B connection systems and utilize them in a similar capacity to their 4,300 HP Prentiss Brown and Bradshaw McKee tugs, which Marcon brokered in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Marcon says that with the sale of the Colleen McAllister and Katie G. McAllister, it has brokered a total of 321 tugs with a total of 998,457 HP for sale or charter in the last 35 years, and that it hopes to break the 1,000,000 HP mark by year’s end.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Princess Cruises to Pay $40 Million in ‘Magic Pipe’ Case

By Mark Edward Nero

Santa Clarita, California-based Princess Cruise Lines has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up. Princess will pay a $40 million penalty – the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution – and plead guilty to charges related to illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship.

The plea agreement was announced Dec. 1 by the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.

Princess Cruises is a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise company. As part of the plea agreement with Princess, cruise ships from eight Carnival cruise line companies – Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line NV, Seabourn Cruise Line Ltd. and AIDA Cruises – will be under a court supervised Environmental Compliance Program for five years.

The compliance program will require independent audits by an outside entity and a court appointed monitor.

The US investigation was initiated after information was provided to the US Coast Guard by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency indicating that a newly hired engineer on the Caribbean Princess reported that a so-called “magic pipe” had been used on Aug. 23, 2013, to illegally discharge oily waste off the coast of England.

The whistleblowing engineer quit his position when the ship reached Southampton, England. The chief engineer and senior first engineer ordered a cover-up, including removal of the magic pipe and directing subordinates to lie.

According to papers filed in court, the Caribbean Princess had been making illegal discharges through bypass equipment since 2005, one year after the ship began operations. The discharge on Aug. 26, 2013, involved about 4,227 gallons, 23 miles off the coast of England within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. At the same time as the discharge, engineers simultaneously ran clean seawater through the ship’s overboard equipment in order to create a false digital record for a legitimate discharge.

In addition to the use of a magic pipe to circumvent the oily water separator and oil content monitor required as pollution prevention equipment, the US investigation uncovered two other illegal practices which were found to have taken place on the Caribbean Princess as well as four other Princess ships – Star Princess, Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess.

Also according to court papers, Princess has undertaken remedial measures in response to the government’s investigation, including upgrading the oily water separators and oil content monitors on every ship in its fleet and instituting many new policies.

If approved by the court, $10 million of the $40 million criminal penalty will be devoted to community service projects to benefit the maritime environment; $3 million of the community service payments will go to environmental projects in South Florida; $1 million would be earmarked for projects to benefit the marine environment in United Kingdom waters.

Maersk Line to Acquire Hamburg Sud

By Mark Edward Nero

Danish shipping company Maersk Line says it has reached an agreement to acquire German container shipping line Hamburg Süd.

“Giving up our engagement in shipping after an 80 year-long ownership in Hamburg Süd was not an easy decision for my family,” said Dr. August Oetker, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the management holding company of the Oetker Group. “We are very confident, though, to have chosen the best of all possible partners.”

“Maersk will preserve and grow Hamburg Süd and what the brand and the whole organization and a highly dedicated workforce stand for: reliable and high quality logistical services to our customers,” Oetker said.

Hamburg Süd is the world’s seventh largest container shipping line and a leader in the North-South trades. The company operates 130 container vessels with a container capacity of 625,000 TEUs. It has 5,960 employees in more than 250 offices across the world.

“Today is a new milestone in Maersk Line’s history,” Maersk Line and Maersk Group CEO Søren Skou said. “I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement with the Oetker Group to acquire Hamburg Süd. Hamburg Süd is a very well-run and highly respected company with strong brands, dedicated employees and loyal customers. Hamburg Süd complements Maersk Line, and together we can offer our customers the best of two worlds.”

In a prepared statement, Dr. Ottmar Gast, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Hamburg Süd Group said his company was proud to join Maersk Line.

“While gaining access to a superior network and systems we will continue the Hamburg Süd brand and business model offering personalized solutions to our shippers and consignees,” he said. “By joining forces both Maersk and Hamburg Süd will strengthen their product portfolio and cost position to the benefit of their customers.”

Keel Laying Ceremony Held for Young Bros. Tugs

By Mark Edward Nero

On Nov. 29, Louisiana-based Conrad Shipyard held a keel Laying Ceremony for four “Kāpena Class” tugs now under construction for Hawaii-based Young Brothers, Ltd.

On hand for the ceremony was Young Brothers President Glenn Hong; John Parrott, President of Young Brothers’ sister company Foss Maritime; and Tim Engle and Mark Tabbutt with Saltchuk, the parent company of both.

Also attending and delivering remarks were Kommer Damen, Chairman and CEO of Damen Shipyard, and Jim Watson, President of ABS Americas. Several local officials were also present, including Morgan City, Louisiana Mayor Frank Grizzaffi III. Conrad Shipyard Senior Vice President Dan Conrad served as moderator.

Young Brothers, based in Honolulu, is Hawaii’s largest interisland transportation company. Hong explained that the word Kāpena means Captain in Hawaiian and each of the four vessels is to be named after a legendary tug Captain from Young Brothers’115-year history.

The 6,000-horsepower, 123-foot by 36.5-foot vessels are designed to match Young Brothers’ fleet of modern high capacity barges, which were delivered from 2007 to 2010. The tugs are to be built to Damen Stan 3711 design and would be powered by General Electric, 8L250MDC, EPA Tier 4 emissions compliant engines using exhaust gas recirculation.

“We are investing to serve the Hawaiian Islands for decades into the future,” Hong said. “Young Brothers is a company with a long tradition of giving back to the communities we serve, and we are delighted to join with Conrad, a company with a matching philosophy.”

Hong also shook the hands of the members of the shipbuilding team and praised them for their reputation for quality and craftsmanship.

“We wish you well as you bring these ships to life,” he told them.

TraPac to Mandate Oakland Truck Appointments

By Mark Edward Nero

A third marine terminal operator at the Port of Oakland now wants truckers to make appointments before picking up cargo. On Dec. 1, Wilmington, California-based TraPac said it is requiring appointments for all import container pick-ups.

The appointment system, which begins December 6, is expected to reduce waiting times by more evenly distributing truck arrivals throughout the day, according to TraPac.

TraPac is now the third of four terminals at Oakland to require appointments, with the others being Everport and Oakland International Container Terminal. Together they handle more than 90 percent of the containerized cargo moving through the port.

“We commend TraPac for taking this step,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said in a statement. “It’s not easy introducing new operating procedures, but customers and harbor truckers benefit whenever we can speed up container throughput.”

Oakland is one of only a handful of ports nationwide with an appointment system.

TraPac said truck dispatchers can now log on to the nationwide port information system eModal to make appointments for Dec 6 and beyond. The requirement for appointments applies only to loaded import containers, for now.

TraPac said truck drivers won’t need reservations for export deliveries, or to pick-up or return empty containers, and that it would communicate “well in advance” when it plans to expand appointments to all transactions.

Appointments are the second measure implemented at TraPac this fall intended to improve terminal performance. In October, the terminal began opening selective night gates to ease daytime crowding. That same month, port commissioners approved a new lease enabling TraPac to double its Oakland footprint next year.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Seaport Alliance Sees Strongest Container Volumes in 4 Years

By Mark Edward Nero

Full load import and export volumes at the Northwest Seaport Alliance in October were the strongest for the month since 2012, according to newly released data.

Year to date, imports and exports for October continue to support a strong peak season for the NWSA, with an 11 percent increase and 16 percent increase, respectively.

To support the 2016 peak shipping season’s strong agricultural exports, the Seaport Alliance lengthened its extended gates program through Dec. 2. The main commodities moving through the gateway are hay, forest products and fruits and vegetables.

Year to date, full imports are up four percent to 1,134,829 TEUs, and full exports increased 13 percent to 802,343 TEUs. The year’s total container volumes are essentially flat through October, down less than 1 percent to 2,963,157 TEUs, according to port data.

While weak empty and domestic volumes continue to drag down overall container volume growth, domestic cargo tipped up in October with a 4.2 percent increase from the late run of seafood.

Year to date, domestic volumes have been down as Alaska struggles with a decrease in oil- and gas-related project activity due to low commodity prices. The month’s overall domestic volume showed a modest increase, however, due to additional sailings related to a rise in demobilization of Alaska’s stock, equipment and gear away from the area.

In other cargo news, breakbulk cargo is down 28 percent year to date to 152,075 metric tons as the global downturn in agricultural, mining and construction equipment and a strong US dollar impact volumes.

Also, log exports declined 27 percent year to date to 150,962 metric tons due to decreased demand in China and competition from New Zealand.

Autos fell 10 percent to 8,630 units for the month because of production issues as well as supply chain shifts. October’s container volumes are available at https://www.nwseaportalliance.com/sites/default/files/nwsa_full_mty_by_month_2015vs16.pdf and the month’s cargo statistics can be found at https://www.nwseaportalliance.com/sites/default/files/nwsa-5-year_history_oct_16.pdf

MarAd to Live Stream High-Power Battery Workshop

By Mark Edward Nero

The Maritime Administration, in cooperation with the American Bureau of Shipping, and the American Society for Testing and Materials, will live stream a Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 workshop on the use of high-power batteries in maritime transportation, and the deadline for registration is fast approaching.

The workshop’s purpose is to further objectives regarding the maritime industry’s exploration of alternative energy technologies for vessel propulsion and auxiliary systems, with a view toward greater efficiency, lower costs and reduced air emissions.

The workshop is open to the public, but attendees and online participants must register by email at META@dot.gov. Your email must indicate attendance type (in-person or online attendance) and provide the following information: Your full name, business affiliation, business address, telephone and email address. Non-US citizens participating in person must also provide their country of citizenship, date of birth, passport number, and passport expiration date.

Registration must be completed no later than Dec. 2.

The sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Department of Transportation Conference Center, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, DC 20590.

In-person participants can enter the Department of Transportation building at the intersection of New Jersey Avenue and M Street, Southeast, and will be required to pass through a security checkpoint. Due to security requirements, all attendees must bring a government-issued form of identification, such as a driver’s license, to ensure access to the building. Foreign national attendees must bring their passports with them.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the meeting for processing through building security. For more information contact Tom Thompson at tom.thompson@dot.gov, or (202) 366-6045.

POSF, National Park Service Ink 30-Year Use Agreement

By Mark Edward Nero

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Nov. 29 unanimously endorsed an agreement between the Port of San Francisco and the National Park Service for a 30-year use contract, with two 10-year options for renewal to continue ferry operation to Alcatraz Island from Pier 31 1/2.

The approval helps bring to a close a multi-year process by the Park Service, port and City of San Francisco to identify a site for long-term Alcatraz ferry embarkation as well as develop and operate a welcome facility.

The port and Park Service worked together for years to identify a site for long-term ferry embarkation. The San Francisco Port Commission unanimously approved financial terms of the agreement in July. Final environmental compliance, leases with the Parks Conservancy and a future ferry concessioner will be forthcoming.

Under the agreement, the Park Service will select a ferry concessioner through a competitive bid process. The agreement also includes the addition of a third berth for increased ferry service to sites at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including Alcatraz Island, which sees over 1.5 million visitors annually.

Additionally, the use agreement includes the operation of enhanced services for visitors. The acre-sized, open-air waterfront plaza is to be reconfigured and fully dedicated to visitors.

All service vehicles are to be moved inside Pier 31, which is closed to the public.

To avoid disrupting ferry service to Alcatraz Island, Piers 31-33 are expected to be transformed in phases over five years.

“Alcatraz is an important and historic attraction that brings over a million people to our waterfront each year,” Port of San Francisco Executive Director Elaine Forbes said. “I’m proud that with our partners we have created a new agreement that will create more open space for families and enhance the visitor experience on our waterfront, bringing people back again and again.”

The Park Service says it will complete the plan’s Environmental Impact Statement in the spring.

Seaport Alliance Welcomes Largest Single-Deck Log Ship

By Mark Edward Nero

The Olive Bay, reputed to be the world’s largest single-deck bulk/log carrier, arrived at the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s West Hylebos log terminal in Tacoma recently, its first call taking place on Nov. 22.

The terminal, operated by Seattle-based Merrill & Ring Forest Products, welcomed Pacific Basin Shipping’s Olive Bay, which is the largest ship in the Chinese log business to call the West Coast.

Built in 2015 specifically to carry logs, the ship is 650 feet long (190 meters) and 105 feet wide (32 meters). It can hold up to eight million board feet of logs, significantly more than the five million-board-foot capacity of most log ships to call at Tacoma.

The Olive Bay was also expected to stop in Port Angeles before heading back to China.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma under which the two Puget Sound ports share resources.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NTSB: Improper Fuel Line Fitting Caused Ship Fire Near Seattle

By Mark Edward Nero

A fire that occurred aboard a containership not long after it left the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46 last December was likely caused by an improperly installed fitting on a fuel line, according to a new report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The fire broke out at around 5 a.m. local time on Dec. 8, 2015 in auxiliary engine room no. 1 on board the containership Gunde Maersk shortly after the vessel departed Terminal 46 in Seattle.

The fire was quickly extinguished by the vessel’s high-pressure water mist system, but as a result of the fire damage, the vessel lost propulsion and required tugboats to return to its berth.

Damage to the vessel was estimated at $380,000, but no environmental damage was reported, and none of the 23 crewmembers were injured during the incident.

After review, the National Transportation Safety Board on Nov. 3 released a report determining that the probable cause of the fire aboard the Gunde Maersk was an improperly installed fitting on a fuel line supplying a fuel injector pump for auxiliary engine no. 1.

The cause is believed to date back to Nov. 25, 2015 when the Gunde Maersk switched from using heavy fuel oil to ultra-low sulfur marine gas oil as it entered the North American waters en route to the Port of Long Beach.

Soon after the switch, the vessel’s auxiliary engines – three 4,667-horsepower eight-cylinder Caterpillar engines, each directly coupled to a ship’s electrical generator – began leaking fuel.

To repair the leaks, the crew of the Gunde Maersk replaced O-rings throughout each engine’s fuel system.

The Gunde Maersk departed Long Beach on Dec. 1 and arrived at Seattle’s Terminal 46 berth 37 on Dec. 7. At 5 a.m. on Dec. 8, the containership got under way from its berth en route to Busan, South Korea. A few minutes later, the fire broke out.

Investigators determined that the fire was caused by fuel leaking from a dislodged 1.5-inch-diameter O-ring in the fuel supply line. The source of ignition was most likely fuel spraying and flowing onto the exhaust side of the engine between the cylinder covers.

The NTSB’s full accident report can be read at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/MAB1624.pdf

Marcon Brokers Sale of Crowley Icebreaker

By Mark Edward Nero

Coupeville, Washington-based vessel broker Marcon International is reporting the sale of the 205-foot by 90-foot by 15-foot-deep former ice-strengthened, icebreaker/cargo barge Arctic Endeavor from Crowley Marine Services of Seattle to Alaska-based mining company Tagiuk LLC.

The 3,029-mtdw barge was built in 1982 by Gunderson Bros. of Portland, Oregon to support resupply sailings to ports in the Arctic while being pushed by two 2,100-HP “Point-Class” tugs. The barge was unique in having a wide spoon-shaped bow, tapering aft from 90 feet at its widest point at frame 25, a tapered hull under the waterline and a reinforced ice step.

The Arctic Endeavor was converted in 1999 by Duwamish Shipyard to an ABS +A1, ice classed, double-hull oil response barge for use in the Beaufort Sea, northeast of Deadhorse, Alaska.

The barge was laid up in Puget Sound at the time of the sale.

New owners have renamed the barge Tagiuk Provider, and are promptly returning her to Alaska from whence she came, according to Marcon.

Marcon says it has brokered more than 100 sales and purchase on behalf of Crowley over the last 30 years, since the 1986 sale of their 132-foot by 32-foot by 12-foot supply boat Gulf Mariner, which had previously been employed in Cook Inlet, Alaska servicing offshore drilling platforms.

Marcon says it has concluded a total of 16 sales and charters in 2016, including three ocean deck barges. Three 5,000-HP+ twin screw and ASD tugs continue to be fixed on previously arranged long-term charters in the US and Latin America.

Several additional sales are pending, according to the company.

BC Ferries’ 1st LNG Vessel on its Way from Poland

By Mark Edward Nero

BC Ferries’ Salish Orca, the first of three new Salish-class vessels, is on its way to British Columbia. The vessel departed Gdansk, Poland on Nov. 22 for a 10,440-nautical mile journey that is expected to take 45 to 55 days, depending on weather.

“This is an exciting day for BC Ferries as our newest ship, Salish Orca, is one step closer to joining our fleet,” BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mike Corrigan said in a statement. “We look forward to introducing a new ship into service for our passengers on the Northern Sunshine Coast.”

The journey is expected to include stops for refueling in the Canary Islands and Panama after transiting the Panama Canal and sailing up the west coast of North America to British Columbia.

BC Ferries is expected to take final acceptance and ownership of Salish Orca upon final inspection once the vessel arrives in British Columbia. Remontowa Shipbuilding SA of Poland has contracted with a professional international ship delivery specialist. Some of BC Ferries’ crewmembers are on various legs of the voyage for training and familiarization.

The vessel, which is BC Ferries’ first natural-gas-powered vessel, is scheduled to arrive in Canada in January for crew training and familiarization. After public open houses in Powell River and Comox, the ship is scheduled to start service on that route in the spring of 2017.

Those wishing to track the ship’s progress including course, position and speed, can do so at www.vesselfinder.com.

NASSCO Shipyard President Retiring; Successor Named

By Mark Edward Nero

Frederick J. Harris, president of both General Dynamics’ NASSCO and Bath Iron Works shipyards, is to retire at the end of 2016. And as a result, new heads of both companies have been named.

Kevin M. Graney has been appointed as president of San Diego-based NASSCO and elected a vice president of the corporation, while Dirk A. Lesko has also been elected a vice president of the corporation and appointed president of Maine-based Bath Iron Works.

Graney, 52, was appointed vice president and general manager of NASSCO in November 2013. He previously held leadership positions in operations, programs and engineering. He joined NASSCO in 2006 from General Dynamics Electric Boat, where he started working in 1995. Graney is a US Navy submarine veteran.

Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2017, following Harris’ retirement.

“Dirk and Kevin are seasoned leaders with proven track records of managing complex shipbuilding projects and driving continuous improvement at every level of their business,” General Dynamics Executive Vice President John P. Casey said.

“Both have worked for General Dynamics for more than 20 years and they have the right management and operations experience to ensure these shipyards are positioned for the future.”

In announcing Harris’ retirement, Casey said that throughout his extensive career with General Dynamics, Harris made significant contributions to the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding programs.

“I want to thank Fred for his commitment to shipbuilding and outstanding service to our company and employees,” Casey said. “We wish him well in retirement.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

BC Ferries Receives Maritime Excellence Award

By Mark Edward Nero

BC Ferries, the contract service provider responsible for ferry service along coastal British Columbia, was among the recipients of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia’s Maritime Excellence Awards presented by the lieutenant governor of British Columbia at a special ceremony at Government House on Nov. 18.

BC Ferries received the Maritime Museum’s SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence award for the high operating and safety standards and quality of service provided by the Queen of Burnaby and Queen of Nanaimo. The vessels, built in the 1960s, have served British Columbians and visitors to the province very well for over 50 years and are to be replaced by the natural gas-powered Salish Class vessels in 2017.

The SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the marine sector in the province. These attainments may include --but aren’t limited to – science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills and academic contributions. An organization or ship is also usually granted an award.

Four individuals in the maritime industry were also named award winners during last week’s ceremony:

Captain Stephen Brown, a deep-sea master mariner who transitioned to executive management positions ashore culminating in the position of president of the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia;

John Horton, a marine artist and marine search and rescue volunteer who has been involved in saving or assisting more than 2,000 people over a 35- year period;

• Captain David Woodman, another BC mariner who in parallel with sea-going pursued a life-long interest in Polar exploration, participating in 10 expeditions in the Canadian Arctic and publishing ground-breaking examinations of Inuit oral history about the Franklin expedition, and;

• Dr. John Harland, a retired Okanagan physician recognized worldwide as an authority on marine technology and author of standard books in this field.

More information about the Maritime Excellence Awards is available at http://mmbc.bc.ca/.

San Pedro Bay Ports Updating Clean Air Plan

By Mark Edward Nero

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have proposed an update to their San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan than includes aggressively deploying zero and near-zero emission trucks and cargo-handling equipment, as well as expanding programs that reduce ship emissions.

Proposals also focus on freight infrastructure investment, innovation and technology to improve supply chain efficiency, comprehensive energy planning, and increased advocacy for stricter emissions standards and government incentives to help pay for projects that advance testing and commercialization of zero and near-zero emission vehicles.

The proposals were publicly unveiled Nov. 18 when port officials met to mark the 10th anniversary of the landmark initiative and unveil the CAAP 2017 Discussion Document, which outlines new concepts under consideration for the third iteration of the CAAP.

The discussion document prioritizes reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from port-related sources 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, which aligns with California’s clean air goals and objectives in the state’s new Sustainable Freight Action Plan, as well as efforts by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach to shrink GHG emissions ahead of state targets.

The joint meeting kicked off a three-month public review and comment period that extends through Feb. 17, 2017. The ports plan to incorporate public comments received and present the 2017 CAAP Update for final consideration by their governing boards in spring 2017 at another joint harbor commission meeting.

Developed with input from industry, government, community and environmental stakeholders, the Discussion Document recommends a new suite of incentives, lease requirements and regulatory approaches to achieve CAAP goals. The working document contains more bold measures for moving the San Pedro Bay ports toward their goal of eliminating all harmful air pollution from port-related sources.

They include near- and long-term proposals in five categories: Clean Vehicles; Equipment Technology and Fuels; Freight Infrastructure Investment and Planning; Freight Efficiency; and Energy Resource Planning.

The ports say that CAAP 2017 improves upon the initial plan adopted in 2006 – and updated in 2010 – to reduce emissions from all port-related sources: ships, trucks, trains, cargo-handling and smaller harbor craft, such as tugboats.

Under the CAAP, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach say they’ve have reduced diesel particulate matter about 85 percent, cut NOx in half, eliminated 97 percent of SOx, and lowered GHG an average of 12 percent, even while container volume has increased seven percent.

The findings also show the ports continue to exceed their 2023 targets for reducing DPM and SOx (77 percent and 93 percent respectively) and are closing in on their 2023 target of reducing NOx emissions by 59 percent.

The discussion document is available at www.polb.com, www.portoflosangeles.org and www.cleanairactionplan.org.

During the review period, the ports are expected to hold additional community meetings to gather public comment on the discussion document.

Written comments may be submitted to caap@cleanairactionplan.org at any time during the review period.

Seaport Alliance Wins Port of the Year Award

By Mark Edward Nero

The Washington Public Ports Association, which represents the interests of the 75 public ports in the state, has recognized the Northwest Seaport Alliance with its annual Port of the Year Award.

The annual award recognizes a Public Ports Association member port that demonstrates exceptional success in the industry.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, formed in August 2015, is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

The selection committee cited the NWSA’s first-year accomplishments, including improvements to General Central Peninsula and Terminal 5 and returning cargo volumes.

“We are honored by WPPA’s recognition of our work,” Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-chair Connie Bacon said in a statement. “We are also grateful for the association’s continued advocacy to keep our state competitive.”

“This partnership between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma is important for our region. It demonstrates that these ports are committed to working together for the benefit of everyone,” said WPPA President Troy McClelland, a commissioner at the Port of Everett. “The entire port community in our state recognizes, supports and is grateful for this accomplishment.”

The NWSA co-chairs received the award at the WPPA annual meeting last week in Tacoma.

Transport Experts: Port of Oakland Has Competitive Advantage

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland can be a “center of gravity” for trade and travel because of its competitive advantages, say two transportation experts whose companies rely on the port to move people and cargo.

They told an Oakland audience last week that key infrastructure projects and geography give the port a competitive advantage.

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance sponsored a business luncheon where experts praised the port’s key infrastructure investments. “One example of a well-timed infrastructure investment is the port’s planned cold storage facility,” said MOL (America) Inc. President & CEO Richard Craig. “This will give Oakland a competitive advantage by bringing California Central Valley products and Midwest beef and pork products to growing Asian markets faster.”

Another upcoming seaport project is the 57-acre expansion of TraPac terminal, the port’s second-largest marine operator. “When completed, TraPac will be the most modern and most efficient terminal,” Craig said. “The port is really making it easier for importers and exporters to do business in Oakland.”

Also, Oakland International Airport, which is managed by the Port of Oakland, has been seeing strong passenger growth, according to Michael Sikes, the Senior Manager of Business Development at Southwest Airlines.

“The center of gravity is shifting to Oakland as a lot of the economic and population growth is in the East Bay and Southwest is taking part by growing with our community,” he said.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pasha Hawaii Ordering 2 LNG Containerships

By Mark Edward Nero

Pasha Hawaii, a Honolulu-based subsidiary of global logistics and transportation company The Pasha Group said on Nov. 15 that it has narrowed its selection to two US shipyards for the construction of two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled containerships.

Contract specifications are expected to be finalized by the end of the month, Pasha says, with the final selection decision expected to come in January.

Details for the vessel order outline a shipping capacity of 3,400 TEUs, including 500 45-foot containers and 400 refrigerated containers, and a sailing speed of 23 knots. Delivery of the first vessel is expected mid-2019, with delivery of the second vessel to come in early 2020.

The contract would include the option to order two additional vessels, Pasha has said.

“In addition to increasing capability for our customers, these new ships will represent a new era in shipping for Hawaii in terms of greatly reduced emissions and increased efficiency,” President and CEO George Pasha, IV said in a statement.

The two LNG dual-fueled vessels would be the first of their kind in the Hawaii/mainland trade lane, operating fully on LNG from day one in service, dramatically reducing environmental impact and increasing fuel efficiency.

Energy savings would also be achieved, according to Pasha, with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form, and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller.

“We are fortunate to have shipyards within the United States that are very capable of building best-in-class cargo ships, including LNG-powered vessels, competitively,” Pasha said.

Compared to conventional fuels, LNG is a much cleaner alternative fuel for shipping. Among the environmental benefits it offers is the reduction of up to 95 percent sulfur oxides, nearly 100 percent particulate matter, up to 90 percent nitrogen oxides, and up to 25 percent carbon dioxide emissions from engine exhaust emissions.

POLB Monthly Container Volumes Take a Dip

By Mark Edward Nero

October container volumes were down 6.2 percent at the Port of Long Beach compared to the same month last year, as the fallout from the Hanjin bankruptcy continues to settle.

A total of 581,808 TEUs moved through docks last month, according to port data. Export TEUs were 1.2 percent down, relatively flat compared to last October, to 126,770 TEUs. Total imports were 296,711 TEUs, 3.7 percent off. Empty containers experienced the largest drop of 13.8 percent to 158,327 boxes.

Port officials noted the harbor’s last October was the best in the previous eight years, and came during a string of six consecutive months of cargo growth to end 2015.

The port said a major factor affecting its volume is the Hanjin bankruptcy, which the South Korea-based company filed in late August. In 2015, Hanjin Shipping containers accounted for over 12 percent of the port’s total containerized volume.

Hanjin, which until recently was the world’s seventh largest container carrier, owns a majority stake in one POLB terminal, TTI.

For the calendar year through October, the port’s 2016 TEUs trail the 2015 total by 4.8 percent. October was the first month of the port’s new fiscal year.

More detailed cargo numbers are at www.polb.com/stats.

POLB Extends Comment Period for Deep Draft Study

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach has extended the comment period for a study to identify and evaluate improvements to existing navigation channels, enhancing safety, reliability and efficiency for visiting vessels.

The Deep Draft Navigation Study would assess the costs, benefits and environmental impacts of the project alternatives that include dredging to deepen channels, basins, berths and other areas in the port.

Public comments on the port’s Deep Draft Navigation Study are now being accepted through Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Comments should be sent to Heather Tomley, Director of Environmental Planning, Port of Long Beach, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815, or at heather.tomley@polb.com.

The Notice of Preparation for the proposed project is available online at www.polb.com/ceqa.

Agriculture is Driving a Port of Oakland Export Rally

By Mark Edward Nero

Growth in high-value agricultural shipments is driving a containerized export boom at the Port of Oakland, according to new data the port released this week.

The data shows sizable increases in fruit, nut and meat exports destined primarily for Asia. The agricultural surge has lifted Oakland total export volume 10 percent over 2015 levels through October.

“We’re seeing a favorable confluence of events,” said the port’s Manager of Business Development and International Marketing, Beth Frisher. “Demand for high-quality US agricultural commodities is growing and producers here have been able to respond thanks to good harvests and higher yields.”

Agricultural exports have increased 16 percent in the past year, the port said. Farm products now account for 40 percent of Oakland’s 2016 total exports, up from 38 percent last year.

The port said much of the increase comes from a 30 percent rise in shipments of edible fruits and nuts; Oakland exported the equivalent of 65,600 20-foot containers full of those products through September, up from 50,306 containers a year ago.

Additionally, grain and seed shipments increased 35 percent in that period, the port said, while meat exports climbed 15 percent. The port said its top five export destinations are China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and its top five export commodities have been wood pulp, fruits and nuts, beverages and spirits, meats and cereals.

“California agricultural exports have exceeded expectations so far in 2016 and in no small part due to Oakland’s performance,” said Dr. Walter Kemmsies, Managing Director, Economist and Chief Strategist for the US Ports, Airports and Global Infrastructure Group at commercial real estate and investment management firm JLL. “While US agricultural exports have declined in 2016, Oakland has registered an increase.”

Kemmsies said exports are stronger than expected due to tighter stocks in Asia and higher production in the US He added that improvement has occurred despite the relatively high foreign exchange value of the dollar. Kemmsies also said that the 2017 export outlook looks more positive due to improving global economic conditions.

“Regardless of other factors, Oakland looks poised to outperform again,” he said.

Exports make up 52 percent of Oakland’s total laden container volume, while imports account for the other 48 percent.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

POLA, POLB to Hold Joint Clean Air Plan Meeting

By Mark Edward Nero

The governing boards of the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports plan to hold a joint public meeting Nov. 17 to discuss proposals for updating their 10-year-old San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) document.

Developed over the past year, the CAAP Discussion Document outlines the ports’ plans for expanding the aggressive strategies that have succeeded in reducing air pollution from port-related sources over the last decade.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Port of Long Beach Maintenance Facility, 725 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach, 90802. The meeting will also air live online at www.portoflosangeles.org and www.polb.com.

Highlights of the Discussion Document include the implementation of a path toward zero emissions, the next iteration of the Clean Truck Program, and innovative strategies to encourage the deployment of cleaner ships. The ports say they developed the proposals with input from industry, regulatory, community and environmental stakeholders.

“With this update, we are identifying the path forward to meet our clean air goals and curtail impacts on local communities,” Port of Long Beach Interim Chief Executive Duane Kenagy said.

Building on the success of the original plan and a 2010 update, the new iteration of the CAAP is expected to contain a comprehensive set of near-term and long-term strategies to help the region achieve its clean air goals, support the statewide vision for more sustainable freight, and set a new goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through 2050.

The Discussion Document is now available at www.polb.com, www.portoflosangeles.org and www.cleanairactionplan.org.

According to the latest annual inventories released earlier this year, the two ports’ clean air programs have reduced diesel particulate matter up to 85 percent, cut nitrogen oxides in half, eliminated 97 percent of sulfur oxides, and shrunk GHG an average of 12 percent. The results are reflective of the ports’ combined clean air progress in collaboration with industry, regulatory, community and environmental partners since 2005, according to the latest annual inventories released earlier this year.

The results also show the ports continue to exceed their 2023 targets for reducing DPM and SOx (77 percent and 93 percent, respectively) and are closing in on their 2023 target of reducing NOx emissions 59 percent.

The ports' plan to release a draft of the 2017 CAAP Update for final review and consideration by their governing boards early next year.

There will be public review and comment process through Feb. 17, 2017, during which written comments can be submitted to caap@cleanairactionplan.org.

Monday, November 14, 2016

BAE Systems Awarded $36 Million Ship Upgrade Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

BAE Systems has received a $36.7 million contract from the US Navy for the repair and maintenance of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans, which will be the first ship to be repaired in the company’s new drydock in San Diego. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $51.5 million.

BAE says it will begin work on the 684-foot-long ship in January 2017. Work to be performed includes structural and tank repairs, propulsion system repairs, and ventilation and auxiliary systems repairs, as well as preservation of the crew habitability systems and spaces.

The labor onboard the ship is expected to be completed in March 2018.

BAE Systems has purchased a 55,000-lifting-ton, 950-foot-long drydock for the San Diego shipyard, which will be operational in early 2017. The company already has a 26,000 lifting-ton drydock at the site. In addition to another drydock in the port, the combination of three drydocks will support the growth of ships in the San Diego port and help the Navy to maintain its operational requirements, while keeping ships in their homeport for extensive repairs.

The surface ship fleet in San Diego, excluding aircraft carriers, is expected to grow from the current 59 ships to 70 by 2020, as the Navy increases its focus on Asia-Pacific operations. BAE has said its $100 million investment in a new drydock and other capabilities will support the increased size of the fleet.

“We made the strategic investment to meet the ship repair needs of the Navy,” BAE Systems Ship Repair Vice President and General Manager Joe Campbell said. “Soon, with two large drydocks in our shipyard, we’ll enhance the San Diego industrial base’s ability to repair warships in their homeport, providing the key maintenance and modernization work needed for the ships’ continued service to our nation and the stability for the ships’ crews.”

POLA Records Best Cargo Month Ever for a West Coast Port

By Mark Edward Nero

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles increased nearly 16 percent in October compared to the same period last year, marking the busiest month ever at a Western Hemisphere container port, according to data collected by the American Association of Port Authorities.

Total volumes registered at 814,574 TEUs, eclipsing the previous record of 800,063 TEUs, which was recorded at the Port of Los Angeles in October 2006.

“We applaud our container terminals, labor and all of the stakeholders in our supply chain that drove this record-breaking volume with speed, efficiency and reliability,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement.

“It’s encouraging to see that when cargo surges, we have the infrastructure, equipment and human capital to keep the boxes moving.”

Imports increased 16.4 percent to 417,311 TEUs during the month, while exports jumped 23.3 percent to 166,406 TEUs. Along with an 18.3 percent surge in empty containers, overall October container volumes were 814,574 TEUs, according to data.

Through the first 10 months of 2016, the POLA’s cargo volumes were at 7,182,682 TEUs, representing an increase of 5.25 percent compared to the same period last year. So far during the current fiscal year, which began July 1, LA has recorded 3.04 million TEUs, a 4.4 percent rise from the 2.92 million containers during the corresponding period during FY 2016.

Current and past data container counts for the Port of L.A. may be found at: http://www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp.

Foss Vessels Receive Environmental Award

By Mark Edward Nero

Seventy-four Foss Maritime and subsidiary companies’ tugs and tank barges with a combined 843 years without an incident have been recognized by a major maritime organization for their environmental records.

The Chamber of Shipping of America announced the 2016 Environmental Achievement Awards honoring the Seattle-based company’s work on Nov.2 in Washington, DC. Foss and its sister companies have 37 vessels with 10 or more years without an environmental incident; 11 of those vessels have achieved 20-plus years of environmental excellence.

“We are truly honored by this award, since it underscores our dedication to the highest safety standards and care for the environment,” Foss CEO John Parrott said. “These values are an important part of our corporate culture and also what our customers demand.”

“Foss’ commitment to safeguarding the environmental is something that we take great pride in," company Vice President Susan Hayman said. “It’s this commitment that helps make Foss an industry leader.”

The awards are open to all owners and operators of vessels that operate on oceans or inland waterways.

“These awards celebrate the dedication to environmental excellence of our seafarers and the company personnel shore-side who operate our vessels to the highest standards,” CSA President Kathy Metcalf said.

A list of all vessels receiving the 2016 Environmental Achievement Award is posted on CSAs website: www.knowships.org. To find the list, click on “News &  Events,” then click “Press Releases.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

NASSCO Delivers 330,000 Barrel Tanker to SEA-Vista

By Mark Edward Nero

On Nov. 8, General Dynamics NASSCO shipbuilders delivered Constitution, a Jones Act-qualified ECO-class tanker, to Florida-based vessel operator SEA-Vista LLC.

The ship was delivered during a special signing ceremony at the company’s shipyard in San Diego.

Constitution is a 610-foot-long, 50,000-deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. The new “ECO-class” design symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the US toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product.

Construction on the ship began in June 2015 as part of an eight-ship program for two separate customers. It is the sixth ECO-class tanker built by NASSCO shipbuilders to recently join the Jones Act trade.

The Jones Act requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in US shipyards.

“With this program we contracted with two customers seeking similar capabilities,” General Dynamics NASSCO vice president and general manager Kevin Graney said. “A steady production run of eight ships improves hull-to-hull learning and has allowed us to deliver increasingly higher-quality, world-class vessels.”

San Diego-based NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the US West Coast conducting design, construction and repair of commercial and US Navy ships. For its commercial work, NASSCO partners with South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

Navy Commissions Research Vessel in San Diego

By Mark Edward Nero

Representatives from the US Navy joined elected officials and the oceanographic community to celebrate the launch of America’s newest research vessel. On Oct. 28, a new US Navy auxiliary general purpose oceanographic research vessel, R/V Sally Ride, was commissioned during a ceremony at Broadway Pier in San Diego.

This is the second ship of its class built by Anacortes, Washington-based Dakota Creek Industries. The shipbuilder also constructed the R/V Neil Armstrong, which was delivered to the Navy in September 2015.

The ship is named in honor of the late Sally Ride, who became the first American woman in space aboard space shuttle Challenger in 1983, and later joined the faculty of the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics. Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012.

The R/V Sally Ride will be operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography under a charter party agreement with the Office of Naval Research. The vessel has accommodations for 24 scientists and will operate with a crew of 20 personnel.

The vessel is based on a single-hull commercial design; it measures about 238 feet long and incorporates the latest technologies, including high-efficiency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gasses, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with the world.

“As a Scripps graduate, career oceanographer and naval officer, I cannot think of a more exciting event than this commissioning,” oceanographer and navigator of the Navy, Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet said during the event. “Scripps is obtaining a capital asset; this vessel will advance our understanding of the oceans for decades, and we need this understanding in order to protect our country, our interests, and our allies.”

Climate change, the study of fisheries, and understanding sound in the sea are three primary research efforts Sally Ride will explore in its upcoming travels, Gallaudet said.

Drydock Sinks While Being Towed from Seattle to Mexico

By Mark Edward Nero

A 528-foot dry dock sank offshore late last month, about 40 miles west of San Francisco, while being towed from Seattle to Mexico.

Personnel aboard Ocean Ranger, a 117-foot tug owned and operated by Seattle-based Western Towboat Co., initially contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watch standers the afternoon of Oct. 25, reporting that the dry dock it was towing was taking on water while in transit.

US Coast Guard watch standers began an hourly communication schedule with the Ocean Ranger crew to monitor the status of the tow and dispatched a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco helicopter to visually assess the situation. The air crew confirmed the dry dock was listing.

Ocean Ranger’s crew proceeded west but eventually had to detach from the dry dock, which reportedly sank about 40 miles offshore around 2 a.m. Oct. 26 in about 3,000 feet of water.

A Coast Guard overflight by a Dolphin helicopter crew was unable to locate the dry dock later that morning.

There were no injuries reported, and fuels and hazardous materials were removed from the dry dock prior to its departure from Seattle, the Coast Guard has said.

The circumstances surrounding the dry-dock sinking, according to the Coast Guard, remain under investigation.

Vancouver USA Seeks Developer for Terminal 5

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Vancouver USA said Nov. 11 that it is seeking firms interested in designing, permitting, constructing and operating a high-volume marine terminal facility at Terminal 5, one of the port’s rail-served terminals on the Columbia River.

Submissions are due by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Friday, Dec. 23.

The available property features about 40 acres in the southern portion of the terminal and consists partially of existing fixed dock at Terminal 5 and nearby floating dock at Terminal 4 for autos, as well as laydown space, rail access and the option to add additional rail.

The site, according to the port, is ideal for a mineral bulk or auto facility.

“Terminal 5 is a very unique property on the US West Coast,” port Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Alastair Smith said in a statement. “The access to river, road and rail is unparalleled; you have the 43-foot-deep Columbia River shipping channel, high-capacity rail and excellent surface transportation access for local as well as interstate deliveries. “There’s a lot of possibility in this site and we look forward to hearing from firms interested in partnering with us to grow their business in our community,” he said.

Terminal 5 is served by a loop track completed in 2010 as part of the port’s $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access project, which is nearly complete and is expected to allow the port to handle up to 400,000 rail cars annually by 2018.