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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.”