Thursday, July 21, 2016

29 Named to Federal Maritime Committee

By Mark Edward Nero

On July 19, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the appointment of 29 new members to the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee, and the latest additions include a handful of leaders with companies that have strong West Coast presences.

The advisory committee, established in 2010, is comprised of leaders from commercial transportation firms, ship construction, repair and recycling, trade associations, state and local public entities, labor organizations, academics and environmental groups that advise the Secretary and the Maritime Administration on policies to ensure that the U.S. marine transportation system is capable of responding to projected trade increases.

Among the 29 new additions to the committee are Thomas Wetherald, the director of business development and strategic planning for General Dynamics NASSCO; William Pennella, vice chair and executive vice president with Crowley Maritime; Susan Hayman, Vice President, Health, Safety, Quality & External Affairs, Foss Maritime; and Gregory Faust, Director of Operations with the Washington State Ferries Division of the Department of Transportation.

“The experience and insights of this group will greatly benefit the federal transportation decision-making process,” Foxx said in a prepared statement. “This advisory committee will help us take the next critical steps needed to move the National Maritime Transportation Strategy forward.” The advisory committee counsels the Secretary on solutions to impediments hindering effective use of short sea transportation and other matters as the Secretary determines. Committee members undertake information-gathering activities and develop technical advice before presenting recommendations.

MTSNAC policy recommendations have led to the expansion of the Marine Transportation System, the integration of Marine Highways into the surface transportation system and the improvement and streamlining of the Title XI ship financing process.

The committee is comprised of a total 40 members from commercial transportation firms, shipbuilding, repair and recycling companies, trade associations, state and local entities, labor organizations, academics and environmental groups.

Committee members serve two-year terms, with no more than two consecutive term re­appointments. About a third of members’ terms of office expire every two years.

Harbor Breezes Cruises Expands Fleet

By Mark Edward Nero

Bellingham, Washington-based All American Marine Inc. and Long Beach, California-based Harbor Breeze Cruises have announced the completion and delivery of an aluminum catamaran passenger vessel to operate in the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors.

The new vessel, M/V La Espada, is a multi-purpose catamaran and will provide harbor tours, whale watch cruises, dinner cruises, and charter ferry service to Catalina Island. La Espada, whose name means ‘the sword’ in Spanish, is 83 feet by 29.5 feet and is certified to carry 250 passengers.

Harbor Breeze Cruises previously contracted with the builder to build a similar catamaran, the M/V Triumphant, in 2013. Both vessels are designed by Teknicraft Design of Auckland, New Zealand and feature Teknicraft’s signature catamaran hull shape with a symmetrical bow and asymmetrical tunnel.

“We appreciated naval architect, Nic De Waal's, ability to translate our wish list into a functional design and the team at All American Marine for making our dreams a reality,” Harbor Breeze Cruises Vice President Amber Boyle commented.

La Espada and her sister-ship are both hydrofoil-supported catamarans and the gallons per nautical mile fuel consumption curve is nearly constant from 17 knots up to 27 knots. The fuel-efficient hull, which reduces operating costs, can reach 30 knots.

The vessel is powered by twin Caterpillar C32 ACERT Tier III engines with 1450 bhp at 2100 rpm.

Features on board La Espada include stadium-style seating on the foredeck for unobstructed views, comfortable interior and exterior seating, ADA accessibility, and a snack bar in the main deck cabin. The upper deck features a premium cabin, complete with a private bar.

There are also several eco-friendly features, including low voltage LED lighting throughout the entire vessel. Also, the catamaran transforms at night when color changing LED lighting is turned on inside the main deck cabin. LED accent lights are also used to light up the vessel exterior as well as acrylic glass panels along the upper aft deck. Tinted glass was used for all passenger windows to mitigate energy use associated with offsetting heat gain. Lightweight aluminum honeycomb wall panels and perforated aluminum ceiling tiles were used to outfit the cabin interior without adding mass that causes excessive fuel burn.

San Diego Ports Tenants Awarded
$5.9 Million Grant

By Mark Edward Nero

The California Energy Commission this month awarded the San Diego Port Tenants Association a $5.9 million grant to fund the development of 10 all-electric freight vehicles outfitted with zero-emission technologies for use at the Port of San Diego.

“We are incredibly proud of the California Energy Commission grant because it proves our small but committed association is dedicated to protecting the environment,” Port Tenants Association Chair George Palermo said. “We couldn’t be prouder and we will excel in production of 10 zero-emissions freight vehicles.”

The Tenants Association was one of two recipients of the “Freight Transportation Projects at California Seaports” grant program of the California Energy Commission under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program for the state. The grant is provided to fund demonstration projects for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies; deployment of natural gas vehicles, including industrial forklifts, cargo trucks and equipment; and intelligent transportation systems and technologies to help move and monitor the vehicles.

In addition, the grant will pay for outreach to communities adjacent to port operations.

The grant award is expected to be matched with $2.3 million in cash and in-kind contributions from seven partner tenants of the tenants’ association: CEMEX, Continental Maritime, Dole Food Co., Harborside Refrigerated Services & Cold Storage, Marine Group Boatworks, Pasha Group and TerminaLift.

The total project budget is $8.2 million.

“This grant award will help us all meet our sustainability goals while we continue the region's economic development,” Port of San Diego Chairman Marshall Merrifield said.

The Tenants Association, along with its industrial tenant partners and several subcontractors, will develop and demonstrate 10 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles used in port operations, with the vehicles employing zero-emissions technologies to improve air quality in the Port of San Diego and the surrounding communities.

The San Diego Port Tenants Association, formed in 1989, is a non-profit organization made up of member businesses and industries that lease land from the Port of San Diego.

Alaska Marine Lines Launches Barge

By Mark Edward Nero

Alaska Marine Lines celebrated the launch of its newest barge, Skagway Provider, at a July 7 ceremony at Gunderson Marine in Portland, Oregon where the vessel was constructed.

The heavy deck cargo barge is expected to make its maiden voyage from Seattle to Southeast Alaska on July 29, and will begin serving Alaska Marine Lines customers on the Seattle to Southeast Alaska route.

“We are proud to offer our customers additional capacity between Seattle and Southeast Alaska via the Skagway Provider,” Alaska Marine Lines President Kevin Anderson said in a statement. “It represents a significant investment in our Southeast Alaska service.”

Most Southeast communities have no land-route link with either the Lower 48 or the rest of Alaska,” he explained. “Virtually everything comes in by water – cars, heavy equipment, food and medical supplies – so providing reliable, efficient and safe equipment to serve our customers is extremely important to us.”

The Skagway Provider’s 360-foot by 100-foot by 22-foot hull has capacity for 13,200 tons of cargo or about 800 20-foot containers, and is in the same class as Alaska Marine Lines’ barges Sitka Provider, Southeast Provider and Stikine Provider. Gunderson Marine has long been a supplier for Alaska Marine Lines, constructing 16 barges for the company over the past 18 years.

Alaska Marine Lines is part of the Lynden family of companies, which includes 17 freight and logistics businesses in Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and beyond.

ASL offers twice weekly barge service to Southeast Alaska including Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, Haines, Skagway, Wrangell, as well as twice-weekly service to Central Alaska, seasonal service to Western Alaska, and bi-weekly service to Hawaii.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

POLA Freight Advisory Committee Named

By Mark Edward Nero

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced July 12 that he has appointed a new advisory board to help reduce carbon emissions and guide growth at the Port of Los Angeles.

The 10-member Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee, made up of environmental, labor, government and community leaders, is expected to work to advance sustainable policy and expand the use of zero-emission technology at the port. The committee members will work with the port to explore sustainability efforts throughout the harbor in the coming months.

The members of the committee include:

FuturePorts Executive Director Elizabeth Warren; Peter Peyton, former president of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Marine Clerks Association of LA and Long Beach; Pacific Merchant Shipping Association Vice President Michelle Grubbs; California Air Resources Board Assistant Division Chief Cynthia Marvin; Earthjustice staff attorney Adrian Martinez; James Jack, executive director, Coalition for Responsible Transportation; Joe Lyou, President & CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air and appointee to the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s governing board; Matt Miyasato, deputy executive director of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Technology Advancement Office; and Jonathan Rosenthal, co-portfolio manager, Saybrook Capital.

“The Port of Los Angeles is the beating heart of our economy – it should also be a model for how we can balance growth with environmental stewardship,” Garcetti said. The Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee will guide the investments we’re making to green our port and help us cut our emissions to zero.”

Hapag-Lloyd, UASC to Merge

By Mark Edward Nero

On July 18 shippers Hapag-Lloyd AG and United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC) said that they have signed an agreement to merge both companies, subject to necessary regulatory and contractual approvals. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, following regulatory and contractual approvals. Until then, UASC and Hapag-Lloyd continue to operate as stand-alone companies.

Following the merger, the new Hapag-Lloyd is expected to rank among the five largest container shipping lines in the world, with 237 vessels and a total transport capacity of around 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units, an annual transport volume of 10 million TEU and a combined turnover of about $12 billion.

The combined company would remain a registered and stock listed company in Germany with its head office in Hamburg. CSAV, the City of Hamburg and K├╝hne Maritime would remain controlling shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd, while the majority shareholders of UASC, Qatar Holding and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, would become new key shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd, with Qatar having 14 percent and Saudi Arabia controlling 10 percent.

The fleet of the combined company will consist of 237 ships – including UASC’s six recently received 18,800-TEU ships, known for their superior eco-efficiency credentials, as well as eleven newly built 15,000-TEU ships, the last of which will be delivered soon. With an average age of 6.6 years and average size of 6,600 TEU the combined company will have one of the most modern and efficient vessel fleets in the industry.

“This strategic merger makes a lot of sense for both carriers – as we are able to combine UASC’s emerging global presence and young and highly efficient fleet with Hapag-Lloyd’s broad, diversified market coverage and strong customer base,” Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said upon signing the agreement. “Furthermore it will give the new Hapag-Lloyd access to Ultra Large Container Vessels. The merger reinforces our position as a top five and one of the largest truly global carriers in liner shipping.”

The company will be the key player in the new “THE Alliance” – consisting of Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, K-Line, Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming. THE Alliance is scheduled to begin operation in April 2017 and will cover all East-West trade lanes including Asia-Middle East/Arabian Gulf and Red Sea.

Oakland Cargo Up 6 Percent

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland’s total cargo volumes are up six percent over the first six months of 2015, despite monthly volumes being down in June, the port reported July 18.

According to port data, Oakland terminals handled 1,152,608 TEUs between January and June 2016. During the same period in 2015, the volume was 1,087,417 TEUs. Total volume includes loaded and empty containers.

Regarding fully-loaded containers, the port’s imports and exports have grown 10.1 percent compared with the same January to June period in 2015. The port continues to see a balance between export (51 percent) and import (49 percent) cargo volumes through the Oakland gateway.

“These container statistics are encouraging in light of the current state of volatility within the global maritime industry,” Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “We are continuing to grow – a sign of the robust regional economy in Northern California and also of strong agricultural exports.” However, when comparing loaded and total container volumes for the month of June 2016 versus June 2015, the data shows a 2.2 and 4.6 percent decline, respectively. The decline in total TEUs in June 2016 versus June 2015 was driven primarily by about 15 percent fewer export empty containers handled, according to port data.

The decline in loaded TEUs in June 2016 versus June 2015 was driven by a modest decline in export volumes, the port said, and that the export decline was due to softening scrap and waste paper shipments.

Grays Harbor Port Wins Excellence Award

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Grays Harbor is one of three seaports – and the only one on the West Coast – to be named a winner of the American Association of Port Authorities’ Communications Awards Program’s annual excellence award.

In addition to the Port of Grays Harbor, the other two recipients of the 2016 Overall Award of Communications Excellence trophies are Port Everglades in Florida and St. John’s Port Authority in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In total, the AAPA plans to recognize 25 seaports for exemplary communications projects and programs at its annual convention and awards luncheon this fall. Winning entrants in the Association’s 50th annual Communications Awards Program are to be lauded at an Oct. 26 awards luncheon in conjunction with the organization’s 105th Annual Convention and Expo in New Orleans, set for Oct. 23-26.

Other West Coast ports announced as winners in various categories include those in Longview, Washington; Los Angeles; Long Beach, California; Stockton, California.

“This competition helps our member ports by rewarding effective communications and highlighting best practices and lessons learned,” AAPA President & CEO Kurt Nagle.

The Communications Awards Program utilized 48 professional public relations practitioners from the Washington, D.C. area who cumulatively spent nearly 200 hours over three weeks judging the 15 classifications of entries, ranging from advertisements and periodicals to videos and websites.

Based on the number of points awarded each entry by the judges, three entries earned an Overall Award of Communications Excellence and 31 entries earned an Award of Excellence, while 46 entries scored an Award of Distinction, and 26 entries received an Award of Merit.

All 106 of the winning submissions in the 2016 AAPA Communications Awards Program can be seen at