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.