Friday, October 13, 2017

Long Beach Networking

By Karen Robes Meeks

Businesses will have the opportunity to promote their services with representatives from Long Beach Transit, the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach City College and other area transit agencies.

Long Beach Transit and the Port of Long Beach will be hosting a Prime-Time Business Networking event on October 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Port of Long Beach’s Interim Administrative Offices, located at 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815.

Those interested need to RSVP by October 15 to Regulatory Compliance and Civil Rights Officer Aida Douglas at 562-489-8476 or at

Bolduc to Nebraska

By Karen Robes Meeks

John Bolduc, the Vice President of Public Safety and Police Chief at the Port of San Diego, will serve as the next Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent.

Bolduc, 52, will oversee 170 team members with a $38 million annual budget. His first day on the job will be on October 16.

“The State Patrol has a long and distinguished history with troopers that have served with honor and integrity, and John will protect and build that tradition,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. “John comes to the agency with a reputation for improving organizations. He has the integrity and the experience to drive continuous improvement throughout the State Patrol and lead the organization with the unimpeachable integrity Nebraskans expect.”

Bolduc started his law enforcement career as an officer in 1986 and was chief of police for Brainerd and Mora in Minnesota.

During his seven-year tenure at the Port of San Diego, Bolduc developed a partnership between Harbor Police and the State Department to train overseas law enforcement in port security. He teamed up with the Alpha Project to connect the homeless living on the waterfront with services, among other accomplishments.

Everett Commission Deadline

By Karen Robes Meeks

Those interested in serving on the Port of Everett Commission have until 5 p.m. on October 16 to apply for the District 1 vacancy left by Troy McClelland, who resigned in August following a job relocation to Massachusetts.

Applicants must provide a completed application, proof of residency from the Snohomish County Auditor’s office and proof of voter registration. District 1 includes parts of the waterfront area in North Everett, and east to the Snohomish River.

The commission will gather for a special meeting on October 24 to review applicants’ qualifications and select candidates for interviews scheduled for October 30.

On November 2, the commission will weigh the merits of the candidates in a public session and vote on the District 1 position appointment. The assignment will last until the next regular port election in 2019.

The Port Commission application can be found at

USCGC Stratton Busts Drug Smugglers

By Karen Robes Meeks

After the completion of a 75-day counterdrug patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton crew reported that it intercepted 11 drug smuggling ships, seized more than 18,500 pounds of cocaine and heroin worth $350 million, and held more than 40 suspected smugglers.

“Each crew member contributed to the collective success of Stratton's patrol,” said Capt. Craig Wieschhorster, the commanding officer of the Stratton. “This was a complete team effort that takes an all hands on deck commitment. Stopping illicit movements at sea, where the Coast Guard has the tactical advantage, starves criminal organizations of a revenue stream, promotes stability in Central American countries and eases migration pressures on our U.S. Southwest border. Border security starts at sea. Stopping suspected smugglers and bringing them to justice in U.S. courts allows the collective interagency effort to break these criminal networks.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Port of Kalama Develops Recreational Areas

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Kalama has begun a series of construction and renovation projects aimed at improving the experience at riverfront recreational areas.

The project list includes:

• Replenishment of new sand on the beaches near Ahles Point

• Installation of new asphalt on Hendrickson Drive under the Oak Street overpass at exit 30, as well as the north end of the marina to the south end of Ahles Point

• Removal of rock berms between Marine Park and the railroad

• Addition of stormwater rain gardens and 117 new parking spaces as part of the Hendrickson Drive project

• Extension of the sanitary sewer line from Ahles Point to the restrooms at Louis Rasmussen Park

“It’s that time of year we need to act on outdoor renovation and improvement projects for the facilities we enjoy here,” said port marketing manager Liz Newman. “All of these projects are part of the port’s effort to maintain and improve port recreational facilities for visitors.”

Stockton Commissioner Named APP President

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Stockton Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Blanchard was recently named president of the Association of Pacific Ports (APP) for 2017-18.

“The APP does valuable work, providing a forum where port directors can collaborate and develop best practices that increase port efficiency and keeps commerce moving,” Blanchard said. “I have been representing the Port of Stockton as a member of the APP for nearly a decade and participation has yielded benefits that have helped us streamline shipping from California’s Central Valley. I am honored to be named APP President for 2017-18.”

Blanchard, who officially began her tenure on August 1, has been part of the association since becoming a port commissioner in 2008. She has been serving on the association’s executive committee since 2010.

Blanchard has a doctorate in psychology from the University of the Pacific and is a retired Professor Emeritus of the San Joaquin Delta College Psychology Department and the University of the Pacific School of Education. She also serves as president of the Disabled American Veterans Charities of San Joaquin County.

Olympia Cleanup Planned

By Karen Robes Meeks

Work to clear out contamination of various East Bay properties in downtown Olympia is expected to be completed later this month, according to the Port of Olympia.

The cleanup work consists of removing and disposing of contaminated soil, site grading and placing gravel covering.

In the past, the port-owned property was used for various industrial operations that resulted in contamination.

The port had previously partnered with the Department of Ecology, LOTT Clean Water Alliance, and the City of Olympia to clean up and redevelop much of the East Bay property, which now houses the Hands on Children’s Museum and the LOTT’s headquarters.

Now the port is partnering with the Department of Ecology to clear out the remaining pollution of its downtown locations.

Once cleanup is completed, the sites will be available for development.

Seattle Marks Millionth Passenger

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle recently received its millionth passenger to come through Seattle’s cruise terminals during the 2017 season, a first for the port.

Officials celebrated the milestone with an impromptu party for Linda Ellis and Ted Finn, two cruisers on Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam, who were met by Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton and Holland America Line CEO Orlando Ashford, and gifted with a basket of goodies.

“Congratulations to our millionth cruise passenger this season,” Creighton said. “Passengers like Ted and Linda from Alexandria, Louisiana, and points all across our country come here for a unique Pacific Northwest/Alaska experience that drives half a billion dollars in annual business revenue.”

“Holland America Line is thrilled that for more than 30 years we have been a partner with the Port of Seattle in building a robust gateway cruise port and an important contributor to the economic impact in this region,” Ashford said.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Bellingham Open for Shipping

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in more than 17 years, Bellingham Shipping Terminal welcomed its first regular cargo shipment this week.

On October 3, the terminal welcomed the 590-foot cargo vessel M/V Diana Bolten, which spent the week in Bellingham before its departure.

“The Bellingham Shipping Terminal is open for business,” said Port Commission President Dan Robbins. “The Port has made significant investments to modernize this job-creating facility and bring back working waterfront jobs, which were lost when Georgia-Pacific shut down its pulp and paper mill. We are excited to welcome the M/V Diana Bolten to our port and look forward to regular shipping activity in the years to come.”

More Retail, Housing for Port of San Francisco

By Karen Robes Meeks

The San Francisco Port Commission recently approved the Pier 70 Mixed-Use Development Project, a 70-acre site near the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood.

The project, which still require final approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, has been more than 10 years in the making and includes the port’s ship repair facility and the Union Iron Works Historic District.

Developing the area known as the Pier 70 Special Use District will “reintegrate and restore 35 acres of Pier 70, rehabilitate three significant historic buildings, and create new connections to the Dogpatch neighborhood,” according to the port.

The project will also generate more than 500 affordable housing units and 28,000 new construction, office and retail jobs.

“This exciting new waterfront neighborhood will join community and industry, engaging residents, workers, artists and manufacturers in a lively mix of uses and activities throughout the site,” said Port Executive Director Elaine Forbes. “Once complete, Pier 70 will reflect the city’s diversity and creativity, inviting the public to new parks, restaurants, arts uses, event spaces and public access to the San Francisco Bay, in an area that has been closed to public access for more than a century.”

Port of San Diego Development Events

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego will be hosting two public events related to the development of the Port Master Plan Update as part of the Integrated Planning initiative.

On October 10, the Board of Port Commissioners will host a workshop to talk about Coastal Access and Recreation Element Policy Concepts and Land and Water Use Element Policy Concepts. The workshop will take place at 1 p.m. in the On October 12, the port will host an open house, using informal breakout-type sessions, to allow the public to ask questions, weigh in on the plan and chat with project team members.

The event will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Both meetings will be conducted at the Port of San Diego Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego 92101.

USCG Saves Alaska Fishermen

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard (USCG) recently saved the crew of the fishing vessel Tsimshain Lady after it began taking on water near Tamgas Harbor, Alaska.

Members of Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit offered a dewatering pump and secured the fishing vessel to the cutter until it could be handed off to a Station Ketchikan Response Boat - Medium crew, which towed it to Tamgas Harbor.

“We greatly appreciate the relay of the distress call from the crew of the fishing vessel Huntress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Breanna Teffier, a Sector Juneau watchstander. “The information they provided to the crew of the Anthony Petit and our watchstanders allowed us to respond quickly and get the crew of the Tsimshain Lady to safety.”

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

San Francisco Waterfront Land

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Francisco is in the midst of updating its Waterfront Land Use Plan. The document outlines land use and urban design policies for the 7.5 miles of piers, shoreline and adjacent land from Fisherman’s Wharf to India Basin. The Waterfront Plan Working Group will be hosting meetings to shape recommendations for the update. Three subcommittees have been established to specifically address land use, resilience, and transportation issues.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pier 1, Bayside Conference Rooms at the Embarcadero and Washington Street.

Visit for more.

New Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Community advocate Lucia Moreno-Linares is the newest member of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Moreno-Linares, who was confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council, will take part in her first commission meeting on October 6, replacing Patricia Castellanos, who resigned to focus on a new career opportunity.

“The interests of surrounding neighborhoods should be at the center of every discussion about the operations and future of our Port – that’s why we need people like Lucia Moreno-Linares at the decision-making table,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who nominated Moreno-Linares. “Lucia has spent her life fighting for the residents and businesses of Wilmington, and she will be an excellent addition to the Harbor Commission.”

Moreno-Linares founded Wilmington Business Watch and Vecinos Unidos Neighborhood Watch and served on the Harbor Watts Economic Development Corporation, the Wilmington Senior Citizen Center Task Force, the LA County Small Business Commission and the LA Harbor Area Planning Commission.

“Lucia Moreno-Linares and her family have been model citizens of Wilmington, the Harbor Area and Los Angeles for an entire generation,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino. “She is a woman of service, respected by her peers and I am proud to support Mayor Garcetti’s nomination of Lucia for the Harbor Board of Commissioners. Today we ensure that all Harbor Area residents have a voice in the decision-making process.”

Long Beach to hold FTZ Workshop

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and the Foreign Trade Association on October 18 will host a “Maximizing Your Business Through Foreign Trade Zones” workshop.

The event will include industry and regulatory experts who will talk about how businesses may benefit from using foreign trade zones, which could help qualifying companies lower, defer or even eliminate the cost of customs duties.

The Long Beach port is part of Foreign Trade Zone 50 (FTZ-50), which encompasses Orange County, western San Bernardino County and most of Los Angeles County.

Admission is $60 until October 5; then it jumps to $75 for pre-registration and $80 if businesses register for the workshop on site. Lunch will be included.

The workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Port of Long Beach Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach 90815.

Visit for more.

Port of Coos Bay Honored

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay will be honored on October 4 by the American Association of Port of Authorities (AAPA) for its outstanding communication programs.

The port will accept its award at the AAPA’s 51st annual Communications Awards Program luncheon in Long Beach, California, where AAPA is also hosting its annual convention.

The port, which submitted the Coos Bay rail line Railroad Centennial project in the Special Events category, earned an Award of Excellence in AAPA’s Communications Competition. Coos Bay was among 18 recipients who received an Award of Excellence.

“Ports play an integral role in the economic development of their region and part of that role is to tell the story of the Port to our community, business leaders and policy makers,” said Coos Bay CEO John Burns. “The Coos Bay rail line Railroad Centennial was a platform for us to celebrate this region’s history with our community as well as look towards further economic development in the future. We want to thank the AAPA for recognizing these efforts, the stakeholders who made this event possible, and to all the attendees who came and celebrated with us.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

Shipyard for Lease

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Francisco is in the midst of finding bidders to lease a 14.7-acre ship repair facility and its equipment that is being upgraded.

The shipyard features 16 buildings and 17.4 acres of submerged lands with tenant-controlled access, as well as floating Dry Dock #2, floating Dry Dock Eureka, shore power capability and other port-owned assets.

Improvements have been made to the site, with more on the way, including a newer electrical system and power grid separation project, a new 19th Street extension near Illinois Street, and the removal of two run-down buildings. All three projects are expected to be completed by April 2018.

There are also plans to dredge at Dry Dock #2 and Wharf 4 East, as well as a “close-to-final project partnership agreement” with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to keep dredging the Central Basin, the shipyard’s access point.

Cutters to Honolulu

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first of three 154-foot fast response U.S. Coast Guard cutters to be stationed in Hawaii arrived in Honolulu last week.

Named after Chief Petty Officer Oliver Fuller Berry – who helped develop the helicopter rescue hoist – the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry will mainly serve the main Hawaiian Islands and is expected to be commissioned in an October 31 ceremony.

The new cutters, which will replace the 110-foot Island-class patrol boats, are built for various missions, including search and rescue, fisheries enforcement, and drug and migrant interdiction and should enhance the Coast Guard’s presence on the water. All three cutters will be based in Honolulu by spring 2019.

Enviro Awards for Stockton

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Stockton has netted two 2017 American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Awards.

The port won the 2017 Environmental Enhancement Award for the Antioch Dunes Restoration Project, and the 2017 Stakeholder Education, Awareness and Involvement Award for Barn Owl Nest Boxes program. The awards will be presented on October 4 at the AAPA Awards Luncheon in Long Beach, California.

The Antioch project is a joint effort between the port and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.

“When we realized that the Fish and Wildlife Service needed sand at Antioch Dunes, it made perfect sense to pump the sand from the river bed to restore the dunes,” said port director Richard Aschieris.

“We see this program as just one way we can support the environment and our community, and receiving this year’s Environmental Enhancement Award from the AAPA is an added bonus.”

With the Barn Owl Nest Box Program, the port constructed 16 nests to raise the barn owl population. The nests also have cameras so the public can monitor the owls by logging on the port website.

“We had 40,000 hits from visitors watching our owl boxes last year,” said Jeffrey Wingfield, Environmental and Public Affairs Director for the Port of Stockton. “By installing owl boxes, we have substantially increased the barn owl population to help with rodent and pest control. We also received a huge response from the public, which has really increased awareness for the role the Port plays in maintaining the Delta’s ecosystem.”

Silver Kingpin Awarded

By Karen Robes Meeks

Intermodal veteran Robert Huffman was honored with the 2017 Silver Kingpin Award, the Intermodal Association of North America’s most prestigious award.

Huffman was honored September 18 at the Intermodal EXPO in Long Beach, California.

The now retired Huffman’s 41-year career spanned from being a block operator with Conrail to being vice president of intermodal for Norfolk Southern.

His work with Norfolk on the R3 initiative – right lane, right car and right unit – led to more efficient and lucrative intermodal traffic.

“Bob’s career has been spent advancing the intermodal industry,” said IANA president and CRO Joni Casey. “His accomplishments in moving the community forward by increasing rail freight capacity, reducing equipment errors and guiding the next generation of intermodal leaders are all representative of a career and an individual to be admired and honored with this award.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

USCG Drug Interdiction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Since June, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has intercepted seven low-profile drug smuggling vessels that have carried more than 22,850 pounds of cocaine worth over $306 million.

Low-profile vessels are designed for smuggling. Often painted to blend with the water, they ride low and fast eliciting little radar notice.

In one instance, Coast Guardsmen from cutter Steadfast from Astoria, Oregon, seized over 6,000 pounds of cocaine from the vessel and arrested four suspected smugglers from a low-profile vessel several hundred miles off the Central American coast.

“Every successful interagency interdiction, investigation, and prosecution is a counterattack against the criminal networks who flood our borders with drugs every day,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area. “The information gleaned from these Coast Guard interdictions provides insight into the pathways of illicit trafficking and contribute to the arrest and extradition of high-level drug cartel kingpins and follow on interdictions.”

Security Grant for Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Portland will receive a financial boost from the federal government to modernize security systems at marine Terminals 4
and 6.

The port, one of 33 nationwide to be awarded a FEMA Port Security Grant, will be able to use its $1.25 million to upgrade closed-circuit television cameras and systems, and overhaul access control systems at terminal gates.

Terminal 4 on the Willamette River handles auto imports and shipping of mineral bulks, while Terminal 6 on the Columbia River processed auto imports and exports, and has container facilities with five berths and eight rail tracks.

“We greatly appreciate this support from FEMA, allowing us to upgrade our marine security systems to protect these vital business assets for our community,” said port chief operating officer Vince Granato.

Hueneme Green

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Hueneme garnered honors for its eco-friendly efforts at the Green Shipping Summit in Los Angeles.

The port received “The Greenest Port of the Year” award, while Port Director/CEO Kristin Decas was named “Maritime Executive of the Year”.

“In 2012, the Board of Harbor Commissioners made the bold and important decision of adopting an environmental framework to guide the port’s investments in environmentally sustainable practices and green technologies,” said Board President Jason Hodge. “Five years later, we are proud to say we have made those investments and the results are now being recognized nationally and internationally. We commit to our community to stay the course and continue to lead the way to a greener future.”

Everett to Purchase Acreage from Kimberly Clark

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett Commission recently sanctioned an agreement with Kimberly-Clark to purchase approximately 2.2 acres of property along the east side of West Marine View Drive that overlooks the port, the former Kimberly-Clark mill site, and the US Naval Station.

The port acquired the property, which Kimberly-Clark used for employee parking, “to ensure proper land use compatibility with the deep-water port and Naval Station,” according to the port, which is in the midst of a 60-day due diligence process.

Meanwhile, the port has commissioned RMC Architects to provide concepts on potential future uses for the property, which is zoned for residential.

The port has expressed interest in acquiring the whole site, but “concerns about the cost and timing for remediation of environmental contamination has hampered progress on acquisition.”

Friday, September 22, 2017

Tacoma CEO Wolfe Wins Connie Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) has given its 2017 Connie Award to John Wolfe, CEO of The Northwest Seaport Alliance and the Port of Tacoma, and International Trade Education Programs, Inc. CEO Amy Grat.

The pair were honored Tuesday at an award dinner in Long Beach, where the Intermodal Association of North America was also having its Intermodal EXPO this week.

The awards spotlight those who made “outstanding contributions to containerization and world trade and transportation sector and are acknowledged for their pioneering spirit in their careers, as well as for the positive example they establish for those who will be the future the industry,” according to the release.

“CII is fortunate that in the 45 years of presenting the Connie Award, we continue to honor those who have positively impacted our industry and its reputation,” said CII President Michael J. DiVirgilio. “The different routes that John Wolfe and Amy Grat have taken on this journey have earned them the distinct honor of being recipients of this prestigious award.”

Wolfe, who has been CEO of the Port of Tacoma since 2010, is a veteran in the industry, having spent 10 years with Maersk Sealand/APM Terminals in Tacoma performing various roles such as terminal operations manager. Previously he served the Port of Olympia as director of operations and marine terminal general manager before becoming its executive director.

Grat, who has been CEO of ITEP since 2010, is developing the future industry leaders by partnering with supply chain stakeholders to give high school students a taste of career opportunities in these sectors.

Awards for LA Port Information Portal Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has garnered a pair of technology awards for its Port Information Portal Project, a pilot program run in partnership with GE Transportation, to digitize the movement of goods for efficiency.

The City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency honored the port with the “2017 Outstanding IT Project Award,” while the American Association of Port Authorities will bestow its “Information Technology Award” on October 4.

“We greatly appreciate the Port’s confidence in our digital technology, and for championing such an important innovation with so much potential for the broader supply chain ecosystem,” said Jamie Miller, president and CEO at GE Transportation. “As we continue to improve the solution based on the feedback we’ve heard from the pilot participants, we’re especially honored to be recognized by both the City of Los Angeles and the maritime industry for our involvement and commitment to this successful public-private partnership.”

The program, which began last November, will spread to all container terminals and shipping lines in Los Angeles in the months ahead. Encouraged by the program’s success, the port and GE Transportation agreed to $12 million in new commercial agreements to expand the program to the rest of the port over the next five years.

“For the first time, we have we been able to provide supply chain partners with timely access to cargo and shipping information from a single interface,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we expand this project throughout the port, we’re optimistic that we’ll see significant efficiency gains throughout our supply chain operations.”

Long Beach Busy in August

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach saw its second-busiest August in history when it moved 692,375 TEUs last month, 8 percent more than the same time last year and the third highest month ever in volume, according to the port’s latest numbers.

The nation’s second busiest seaport also saw double-digit growth in imports with 355,715 TEUs, a 10 percent increase when compared to August 2016.

“We are on pace to have our highest import year ever and one of our best years, period,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Our inbound traffic during this peak season signifies optimism among retailers for the holiday season. Simply put, shoppers are buying more, and retailers are restocking their shelves.”

Meanwhile, changes in vessel alliances caused August exports to fall 26.3 percent to 117,290 TEUs year over year.

Port of Seattle Housing on Industrial Property

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle Commission this month voted to turn the former Tsubota industrial property into a temporary camp for the homeless as a way to help community groups and the city of Seattle address a major regional issue.

As many as 80 residents and their tents and small structures would be able to establish residency at the 1601 15th Ave. West property for two years beginning in November, the port said.

The commission approved the lease on September 12 with the City of Seattle, which will provide services such as electricity, water, garbage disposal and other utilities.

The property will serve as the new temporary location for Tent City 5, which is just north in the Interbay neighborhood at 3234 17th Avenue West.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Busy August for the Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles last month had its busiest August and second-busiest month in port history, according to its latest statistics.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 847,857 TEUs, 6.1 percent more than in August 2016. This breaks the port’s previous record, which was established last year when it handled 798,932 TEUs.

August 2017 was close to breaking the port’s all-time high of 877,564 TEUs recorded in November 2016.

Los Angeles also handled 432,479 TEUs in imports last month, a 5.1 percent increase from the same period last year and moved 159,197 TEUs in exports, a four percent jump.

“We are grateful to our terminal operators, labor force, supply chain stakeholders and our cargo owners for the record-breaking container volume trend we have been experiencing over the past 20 months,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We plan to build on this momentum and confidence by focusing on innovative new ways to improve efficiencies, including a first-of-its kind information portal system with GE Transportation that will be introduced at all of our container terminals in the coming months.”

Los Angeles is nine percent ahead of 2016 within the first eight months of 2017, an indication that the port may likely surpass its record-breaking 8.8 million TEUs from last year.

Northwest Seaport Alliance Wins Logistics Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For Logistics Management’s 2017 Quest for Quality awards, the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which is made up of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, recently earned the highest rank on the US West Coast and second overall in the West Coast category from the magazine’s readers.

Voters, many of whom are logistics and transportation service buyers, based their decision on “ease of doing business, value, ocean carrier network, intermodal network, and equipment and operations,” according to the Alliance.

A port needed at least five percent of the category vote to win and the Northwest Seaport Alliance was among three West Coast ports to achieve that result.

“Through all of this preparation for an uncertain future, LM [Logistics Management] readers tell us that these North American ocean gateways continue to step up with world class service despite a still unsettled global ocean freight market,” the magazine stated.

Winners were announced in the magazine’s August issue.

Port of Seattle Social Program

By Karen Robes Meeks

Tenants at the Port of Seattle are going strawless this month.

More than 100 Seattle eateries, including those at seaport locations, are taking part in Strawless in Seattle, a month-long effort to support the Lonely Whale Foundation’s Strawless Ocean endeavor to eliminate 500 million plastic straws from the waste stream this year.

Those who want a straw will be given a paper one that can decompose in 45 to 90 days.

“As a marine life researcher, I know firsthand that efforts like Strawless in Seattle help improve the health of oceans,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “The Port of Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal is the home of the North Pacific fishing fleet, and through Sea-Tac Airport, our cruise and maritime facilities we host millions of travelers who come here to experience our natural environment. Port industries and their employees depend upon healthy oceans and supporting this effort fits our mission to improve the health of our environment and community.”

Participants on the waterfront include:
• Fisherman’s Terminal: Chinook’s Restaurant, Highliner Pub
• Anthony’s Pier 66
• Shilshole Marina Jibe Espresso
• World Trade Center (Alaskan Way), Bell Harbor Conference Center (Pier 66), Clipper Café (Pier 69)

Visit for more details.

Coos Bay Dredging

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public will have until October 3 to weigh in on the environmental impacts of the Port of Coos Bay’s plans to make the Federal Navigation Channel deeper and wider.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, which must sign off on the project, is putting together the environmental impact statement for the modifications, which involve deepening the channel from 37 to 45 feet and widening it from 300 to 450 feet from the channel entrance to river mile 8.2.

The public can send written comment by mail or email to the Army Corps of Engineers, which is analyzing the environmental effects of the project.

Funded through private and public funds, the $350 to $400 million project would allow for larger ships to enter the port and make navigating the channel easier.

If all the necessary permits are obtained, the port could begin dredging as soon as late 2019. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2022. Visit for more information

Friday, September 15, 2017

Improved Port Driver App

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Northwest Seaport Alliance has relaunched a new and improved DrayQ phone app that gives truck drivers more accurate real-time information about wait times at marine terminals, and camera views of traffic.

Available on iOS and Android smart phones and tablets, DrayQ was developed with the port industry in an effort to curb long wait times and congestion at terminals. The app lines up with the framework of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS) and StrongPorts program.

Improvements to the app – initially launched last October – were made after users said the listed wait times were not accurate enough. Wait times information come from readers that record a driver’s smart device GPS data, whenever a truck passes by the readers as the vehicle travels along the terminal.

More readers have been added to make wait time data more accurate.

"We continue to seek innovative ways that technology can help us speed our operations, save our customers time and money and reduce port-related emissions," said Dustin Stoker, NWSA’s chief operations officer. "Our Operations Service Center engages regularly with supply chain stakeholders to anticipate changing needs."

Oakland to Increase Shore Power

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle told international shipping officials that the Northern California port intends to step up its efforts to reduce diesel pollution by pushing for more shore power.

“Our goal is to plug in every vessel,” said Lytle, who recently met with visiting members of the Washington, DC-based World Shipping Council.

He told the group that the port has lowered diesel emissions by 75 percent in the last 10 years, with truck emissions down by 98 percent, and added that there’s a real opportunity now on the vessel side to further reduce pollution.

“If there are ways to strengthen our Port electrical infrastructure to promote more use of electrical power from our grid, we will do it,” Lytle said. “We will collaborate with shipping lines and the marine terminal operators here in Oakland to build on the progress we’ve already made.”

Oakland is taking stock of what improvements need to be made in order to allow for more ships to use shore power, including adding more landside electrical vaults and more substations to boost power supply.

September is Green at the Port of San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

The San Diego Board of Port Commissioners this week declared September “Green Port Month” at the Port of San Diego, Calif.

“Green Port Month is a reminder of our commitment to being champions of conservation and protecting our diverse ecosystems,” said Board Chairman Robert “Dukie” Valderrama. “We hope that our employees, tenants and the public will participate in the events being offered and use them as a chance to learn more about what they can do to contribute to safekeeping our environment.”

Created in 2008 to raise environmental awareness and to highlight its long-term benefits, Green Port Month celebrates its 10th year this month. Port officials have planned a series of public events to mark the milestone, including Taste of the Port where visitors can sample from local eateries and see local chefs battle in a sustainable cooking competition. for more information.

Over the last 10 years, the Port of San Diego has funded 85 projects totaling $10 million. Among its effort, the port adopted a Climate Action Plan in 2013 that sets goals for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and created an aquaculture program in 2015 that focuses on fisheries and environmental remediation.

Cross-Pacific Swim

By Karen Robes Meeks

Ben Lecomte, the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean, will kick off a six-month attempt to traverse the Pacific Ocean on Sept. 16, at an open house at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.

Lecomte, who is doing the swim to bring the growing issues of plastic pollution into the spotlight, will be accompanied by a support team that will also collect data on the ocean’s condition and its effect on human and sea life for various research projects and major scientific organizations, including NASA.

One of the studies will track Lecomte’s swim as he follows the currents that have carried radioactive pollution from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident. He will wear a “RadBand” sampling device to measure its spread. Lecomte’s body will also be tested during the six-month swim to study the impacts of extreme exercise on his biome.

“We’re proud to support The Longest Swim, providing facilities and other resources for Ben’s team and ship as he prepares to bring worldwide attention to the plastics and other contaminants polluting our oceans,” said AltaSea Executive Director Jenny Krusoe. “His project is an example of what we’re building here, bringing together ocean-focused science, education and sustainable business incubation. We’re convening passionate, smart people and organizations dedicated to making our planet better. Ben’s project is a natural fit.”

After staying at AltaSea, Lecomte’s 67-foot support ship Discoverer and crew will begin its five-week journey to Tokyo, where Lecomte will launch into his spring swim to San Francisco.v “Now that I have children, it’s where my motivation is,” Lecomte said. “I’m using what I like to do and creating a platform that maybe can make a little difference. I’m swimming across the ocean to give attention to the problems facing our oceans, so that our kids can maybe have a better future.”

Lecomte will be at AltaSea’s quarterly open house, which starts at 10 a.m. Sept. 16 at AltaSea in Berth 58, 2456 S. Signal St. in San Pedro. The event is open to the public, but reservations are required. Email for more details.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Approves Labor Agreement

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the next decade, millions of dollars of construction projects at the Port of Los Angeles may soon be subject to a union-driven agreement that guarantees local hiring and prevailing wages for workers.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners on Thursday voted unanimously to support a 10-year project labor agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council.

The contract – which will come before the Los Angeles City Council for approval in the coming weeks – will encompass at least 38 projects worth $780 million, including wharf, rail, shore power and marine oil terminal upgrades, with more projects to come, according to the port.

Used at various city agencies and school districts, a project labor agreement allows workers to receive benefits negotiated by the trades council, including prevailing wages and health benefits.

In exchange, the port receives no disruption from union strikes as well as guarantees in local hiring – about a third of the workforce must come from the local harbor and under-served Los Angeles communities – and ensures that projects are done on time and on budget.

“The men and women who clock in every day at the Port of Los Angeles are a driving force in the global economy,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This project labor agreement will create new career opportunities that Angelenos deserve, and bring stability to operations as we invest billions in infrastructure that will define the future of the port.”

This newest contract builds upon a five-year agreement, which covered 26 completed and in-progress construction projects totaling close to $848 million, including the Berth 200 Rail Yard, TraPac Container Terminal and the South Wilmington Grade Separation projects.

Pollution Reduction at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

In its latest annual emissions inventory, the Port of Long Beach posted significant reductions in air pollution, marking more than a decade of improving air quality.

Done by an independent consultant, the report shows record numbers, including:

• An 88 percent reduction in diesel particulate matter since 2005;

• A 56 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides; and

• A 22 percent reduction in greenhouse gases.

The port attributed the low numbers to the 2016 opening of the first phase of the zero-emissions Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier E, making 11 percent of the port’s cargo-handling equipment zero-emissions.

“We have a greater percentage of our cargo-handling equipment operating at zero emissions than any other seaport in the country,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “As we chase our goal of becoming a zero-emissions port, it’s important for us to increase that number to help make the technology more commercially viable.”

The port, which has been tracking its pollution-lowering progress since 2005, has implemented several pollution-curbing efforts, which include establishing the Clean Trucks Program, boosting shore power use for vessels and encouraging ships to slow down as they approach the port.

“Our pollution-reduction strategies begin before a vessel enters the harbor and continue after cargo leaves on a truck or locomotive,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “This is a model we worked hard to achieve at the Port of Long Beach, and it’s one we’ll continue to improve until we reach zero emissions.”

Olympia Fuel Station Open

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nearly a decade in the making, the long-awaited Swantown Marine Fueling Station is now open at the Port of Olympia.

The new fueling station, which is open daily and accepts cash and major credit cards, features emergency shutoff buttons and shutoff valves along the delivery system, a leak detection system that automatically alerts to any abnormalities, and dedicated monitors and security cameras.

“The port is committed to creating infrastructure to support and significantly expand recreational opportunities and regional visitation,” said Executive Director Ed Galligan. “This same infrastructure will also broaden the port's support of commercial maritime activities in the area. Swantown is now a full-service marina, which will not only make access easier for local boaters, but also help promote tourism in Thurston County. The fact that we also will operate the most environmentally-friendly facility in Puget Sound is a particular source of pride.”

Until the new station, downtown Olympia had no marine fueling service option since 1999. In 2008, 800 residents signed a petition asking the port to put in a station at Swantown Marina.

Cemex Stays at Redwood City

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cemex Aggregates will continue to be a tenant with the Port of Redwood City for another decade.

Over the summer, the port and Cemex reached a new 10-year lease (with an extension option) for the 8.2-acre marine terminal on Hinman Road.

Port of Redwood City Executive Director Michael J. Giari called Cemex “a responsible tenant and a productive partner with the port in the growth of maritime shipping.”

Cemex has imported close to 4 million metric tons of building materials from Canada in the last three years, including sand and aggregates used in Silicon Valley and Redwood City construction projects.

“The high quality of the sand and gravel aggregates from British Columbia combined with the dwindling supply of these materials in Northern California because quarries are unable to expand have triggered and sustained a strong demand that the port benefited from,” Giari said.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Everett Commissioner Resigns

By Karen Robes Meeks

A job relocation to Massachusetts has prompted Port of Everett Commissioner Troy McClelland to resign his post as commissioner of District 1, which includes parts of the waterfront in North Everett and east to the Snohomish River.

“It has been a true honor to get to work with a wonderful staff and port commission,” he said. “I think we have accomplished some great things during my nearly seven years on the port commission. I will never forget my time at the Port of Everett, and will continue to follow the Port of Everett’s success with great interest and admiration.”

During his tenure, McClelland helped to lead the port’s efforts to clean up historic contamination, include the 41st Street Freight Corridor in the Connecting Washington Transportation Plan and deepen the port’s role as an economic development resource for Snohomish County.

“Troy is a tremendous visionary, and the port district will greatly miss his leadership,” Port CEO Les Reardanz said. “His efforts to get the port to think and act more like an economic development enterprise for the region will be the stepping stone for initiatives the port pursues during its next 100 years.”

State law stipulates that a new commissioner is to be appointed within 90 days of a resignation. How that interim position will be filled will be discussed at a commission meeting at 5 p.m. on September 12 at the Blue Heron Conference Room, 1205 Craftsman Way in Everett.

The appointee will be in place until the next election. Voters will then chose someone to fill the remainder of McClelland’s term, which expires in 2021.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

EPA Grant for Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle and Just Health Action have been selected for a new Environmental Protection Agency grant that will go toward improving the health of port-adjacent communities.

The city is one of three communities in the U.S. to receive funding for the Near-port Community Capacity Building/Stakeholder Engagement Project. The pilot program will “test and refine the EPA Ports Initiative’s new capacity building and stakeholder engagement toolkits: the Ports Primer for Communities, the Community Action Roadmap, and the Environmental Justice Primer for Ports,” according to the port.

“The EPA continues to be encouraged by the port’s leadership, along with other Northwest Seaports, in focusing significant time and resources to reducing the environmental impact of its operations,” said Tim Hamlin, air quality director in EPA’s Northwest office. “An important component of this work is the Port’s commitment to developing constructive relationships with communities disproportionately affected by its operations, and we’re hopeful these investments will result in meaningful reductions in health risks for the people who live there.”

The EPA grant will fund one year of technical assistance to help the port and Seattle’s South Park and Georgetown communities work together on engagement, advocacy and communication to address needs.

“As a resident of Georgetown, it is important that we work with the Port to address the significant inequities in the Duwamish Valley, relative to the rest of Seattle,” said Andrew Schiffer, a community partner at Just Health Action. “We hope the pilot project will allow us to work together to reduce the environmental impact on all near-port communities.”

Clean Operators to Reap Rewards

By Karen Robes Meeks

Vessel operators who surpass the regulatory standard for curbing ship pollution will reap greater rewards for it, thanks for new Environmental Ship Index formula that went into effect July 1.

Usually operators get points on a per call basis from a port that provides ESI incentives, such as the Port of Los Angeles, and earn points for reducing pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.

The new formula allows operators who enter carbon dioxide data and improve upon the baseline years to rack up even more points as early as this month.

“This voluntary program encourages operators to bring their newest and cleanest ships to participating ESI ports and demonstrate new technology that accelerates clean air progress,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “ESI has already played a significant role in tackling vessel emissions here in Los Angeles, and its benefits multiply worldwide as the program grows in scope and membership.”

At the Port of Los Angeles, ships with 50 points or more earns $2,500 per call, while vessels in the 40- to 49-point bracket receive $750. Those with Tier III engines are eligible for a $5,000 incentive per call, while ships taking part in a sanctioned Technology Advancement Program demonstration project can get $750 per call.

Expanded Gate Hours Pay Off

By Karen Robes Meeks

The success of last year’s pilot program has prompted the Northwest Seaport Alliance to continue a program that reimburses terminal operators up to $2 million to expand their gate hours during peak season to ease congestion at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

The reimbursement program, which kicked off August 12, helps several operators offset the costs of extending the hours of off-shift gates, which take place after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or any shift on Saturday or Sunday. The additional hours help move cargo out of the two Washington ports more efficiently.

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Potash Meeting at Grays Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Global resources company BHP will host an open house to discuss its plans for a potash export facility at Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal 3 later this month.

BHP’s representatives will introduce what potash (potassium chloride) is, in addition to discussing the company’s work at the Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan, Canada, and its proposal for Terminal 3. A question-and-answer segment will follow the presentation.

“We commend BHP for holding this event as an opportunity for our local citizens and other interested parties to learn more about the proposed project and what it could mean for our community,” said Port Commissioner Stan Pinnick.

The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on September 14 at Hoquiam High School Commons, located at 501 W Emerson Ave. in Hoquiam.

San Diego Wins Cruise Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego has been named one of the top five cruise destinations in the US and Canada for the second straight year by Cruise Critic as part of the Cruiser’s Choice Awards.

San Diego is ranked fourth on the 2017 list, behind No. 1. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; No. 2. San Francisco, California; and No. 3. Bar Harbor, Maine. Key West, Florida, takes the fifth spot.

The ranking is based on consumer review ratings for cruises taken in the last year and submitted with

“We are honored to be voted one of the top five cruise destinations by Cruise Critic’s online community for the second year in a row,” said Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “In recent years, we have installed $31 million in improvements to the North Embarcadero, providing our cruise passengers with a beautiful welcome to the Port of San Diego. That, along with all the wonderful attractions San Diego offers, will help attract new cruise business to our port.”

The port’s cruise season launches on September 15, with 83 cruise calls scheduled.

Long Beach Commission President Outlines Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Strengthening partnerships with Long Beach agencies is a top priority for the Port of Long Beach’s newest president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum recently outlined her goals at her first meeting as president, which include connecting with educational and government institutions as a way of expanding economic development opportunities in the industry.

“Many great institutions are working locally right now to grow the economy – Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College, Long Beach Unified, our city and private sector entities,” said Bynum, the executive vice president of College Advancement and Economic Development at Long Beach City College. “Together, as a kind of virtual center for innovation, we could tackle export development, green technology incubation, supply chain efficiency and maritime workforce training.”

She also expressed interest in deepening the port’s involvement in local schools, including Cabrillo High School’s Academy of Global Logistics program. To achieve this, Bynum wants the port to tie its education outreach efforts to the ”Long Beach College Promise,” a citywide initiative promising a college education to every Long Beach Unified School District student.

“We must nurture the workforce of tomorrow, to help continue to propel this port forward for generations to come,” she noted.

Hawaii Coast Guard Seeks PFD Owner

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard needs the public’s help in identifying the owner of a life jacket found Sunday afternoon near the Ala Wai Boat Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii.

The Sector Honolulu command center got a call at 12:50 p.m. from a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew who found an adrift life jacket while on a safety patrol in the Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

While there were no reports of a missing person in the area, an urgent marine information broadcast was issued to area mariners to look for signs of distress and a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew scoured the area for two hours.

The public is encouraged to call Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600 for any information about the jacket. The Coast Guard recommends labeling all watersports equipment with a name and phone number and offers free “If Found” stickers.

The decals are free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and other marine retail and supply stores.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Oakland Predicts Record Volumes

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Oakland leaders predict a five-year run of record cargo volume starting next year.

The Northern California facility anticipates moving 2.6 million TEUs annually by 2022, eight percent more than the port has ever processed in a single year, according to the Strategic Maritime Roadmap released by the port in early August.

It also forecasts a record volume of more than 2.4 million cargo containers in 2018.

The Roadmap predicts that the growth will come from more cargo arriving to the port in larger ships as well as Oakland’s burgeoning freight market with its new logistics capabilities, such as distribution centers and freight transfer facilities. The port foresees ships calling to Oakland would be 35 percent larger within 15 years and bring up to 18,000 containers.

“We’re serving a thriving area and developing new services for our customers,” said Oakland’s Maritime Director John Driscoll. “The combination should be positive for everyone who relies on the Port for their business or their job.”

The roadmap also details a commercial strategy that calls for bolstering its US Midwest meat and grain exports, attracting more auto imports; drawing containerized cargo to a new refrigerated distribution center and its Seaport Logistics Complex; and pushing for 15 percent more import cargo that comes to the port and is loaded on rails for inland distribution.

Vancouver USA Increases Access

By Karen Robes Meeks

This past summer, the Port of Vancouver USA designed and built an ADA-compliant ramp to improve waterfront access to WareHouse ’23 restaurant at Terminal 1.

The newly built switchback ramp provides the public direct access to the restaurant, as opposed to going through the former Red Lion hotel lobby.

The port also upgraded the existing main doors with push-button entry and finished lighting improvements. The project cost $30,000 and was completed between January and July.

“We thought it was really important to install a newer ramp that not only met ADA requirements, but also gave direct access to WareHouse ’23,” said Project Delivery Manager Mark Newell. “Maintaining access to Terminal 1 and the waterfront for everyone is very important to us as an organization.”

Long Beach Grants Available

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nonprofit organizations in the Long Beach area can now apply for Port of Long Beach grants through its Community Sponsorship Program.

According to the port, the subsidies are for “community events and activities that help the port inform residents about its mission and international trade while making Long Beach a better place to live and work.”

Last spring, 136 sponsorships totaling $372,500 were allocated to local organizations supporting causes from the arts to social justice.

Requests must be submitted by 4 p.m. on September 29.

The Board of Harbor Commissioners will vote on the release of the funds, which is expected to be awarded to groups by mid-November.

Visit for more information about the program and application procedures.

San Diego Seeks Seaport Village Operator

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is seeking bids from companies interested in operating the Seaport Village on an interim basis after the current lease ends on September 30, 2018.

Last year, the port chose the 1HWY1 team to reimagine the Central Embarcadero, which includes Seaport Village and surrounding areas, an undertaking that project will take several years.

By having an interim operator, the port is ensuring that the 14-acre site with 70 retailers and restaurants will remain open while the port redevelops the Central Embarcadero.

Proposals are due on October 12, with follow-up interviews scheduled for October30-31. A presentation before the Board of Port Commissioners is expected to take place December 5.

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Increases Security

By Karen Robes Meeks

Officials at the nation’s busiest seaport announced on Friday that they will beef up security at West Basin Container Terminal after a man driving a stolen SUV breached port security earlier this month.

While long-term solutions are being considered, the Port of Los Angeles in the interim has already made stringent modifications to access points at the terminal and added more security personnel, road barriers and other measures. The port is also reviewing security at all its terminals.

“Last week’s incident involving a subject in a stolen car illegally entering one of our terminals is something that we will learn from and we have taken immediate interim steps to correct,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “There is nothing more important than the safety of our workers and the security of our port complex.”

On August 16, police chased James Llamas, 23, as he drove a stolen car through South Bay and Long Beach, and ultimately into the Port of Los Angeles complex.

The chase, which was televised, showed Llamas speeding through the terminal and climbing a crane. The port told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that the man was perched 120 feet above sea level. During the hours-long standoff with police, he stripped his clothes, danced and exercised, and displayed other erratic behaviors before plunging to his death.

“I commend the Port of Los Angeles for quickly addressing the vulnerability revealed by last week’s police chase suspect,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino.” As our region’s biggest economic engine, it is critical to ensure the security of goods movement and the safety of the hard-working people who make our Port the efficient machine that it is.”

USCG Suspends Aviator Search

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has suspended its search for five Army aviators who have been missing for more than a week off Oahu. The search started August 15 when the Coast Guard received word from Wheeler Army Airfield that they lost communication with one of its UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews, who were conducting night training operations between Ka'ena Point and Dillingham Airfield.

Search teams scoured more than 72,575 square nautical miles in more than 132 separate searches that started off of Ka'ena Point, Oahu, and extended west beyond Kauai and Ni'ihau, according to the Coast Guard.

“A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Army helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing,” said Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins, commander of the Coast Guard 14th District. “Our Coast Guard crews relied on their training and professionalism in this dynamic environment to mount the best response possible and I want to thank all our partners, the Navy, Army, the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources, Fire, Police and Ocean Safety for their extraordinary efforts. As we suspend the search we stand ready to support any future operations the Army conducts, and continue to provide any comfort we can for those suffering from this tragic loss.”

Hueneme’s Decas Top Port Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) recently named Port of Hueneme’s Director and CEO Kristin Decas as Top Port Director of the Year.

Decas, who will be honored at the association’s annual award gala at the end of the year, is being recognized for her work in promoting economic development through international trade promotion, which include appointments by the US Department of Transportation to the National Freight Advisory Committee and the US Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council.

“Choosing Kristin for this award was an easy decision for our panel to make,” said IAOTP President Stephanie Cirami. “In a male dominated industry, Kristin is talented, bright, beautiful and brilliant at what she does and we felt she would make an amazing asset to our organization. We are looking forward to meeting her at the gala and know we will be seeing more amazing things from this amazing woman.”

Decas blazed trails in her profession when she became the first woman to run the Port of New Bedford, where she turned a port with a $200,000 deficit into a profitable port that is seeing growth in cruise and recreational boating activity.

In 2012, she became the first woman to lead the Port of Hueneme, overseeing the port’s strongest sustained trade years since its inception in 1937.

Los Angeles Fleet Week

By Karen Robes Meeks

Today marks the start of Fleet Week in Los Angeles.

Sailors from various military ships will descend on the Port of Los Angeles for the second annual event, giving tours aboard vessels such as the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey and the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Scout.

The public will be able to tour the ships and meet sailors from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. September 1-4 at the Port of Los Angeles next to the USS Iowa Museum. Reservations are suggested through

The San Pedro Historic Business District will be welcoming service members with a free Hollywood-themed party that’s open to the public at 6 p.m. on August 30.

Ariza Elevated Game Awards will present a rivalry basketball tournament between the city of Los Angeles and U.S. Military on September 2-3, while on Labor Day, celebrity chefs Robert Irvine, Mei Lin, and Steve Samson will judge a ‘Galley Wars’ cooking contest among cooks representing the US Navy, US Coast Guard, US Marine Corps and Royal Canadian NavyBoth events are free and open to the public.

The Labor Day weekend will include performances from headliners such as Quiet Riot, Los Lobos, Vince Neil, lead vocalist of Mötley Crüe, and country musicians Shannon Rae and Brent Payne.

“This year’s LA Fleet Week has something for everyone to enjoy,” said Jonathan Williams, executive director of the LA Fleet Week Foundation. “We’ve also added many new attractions on the Labor Day holiday so that families can come to the LA Waterfront and make a full day of it.”

Last year’s inaugural event attracted more than 200,000 people.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Port of Los Angeles to Digitize Cargo Flow

By Karen Robes Meeks

A pilot program between the Port of Los Angeles and GE Transportation to digitize cargo flow is expanding less than a year after its launch.

The port announced this week that it is extending its program with GE for at least five years to encompass all its container terminals and shipping lines, and agreeing to nearly $12 million in new commercial agreements.

The agreements, which still requires the final blessing from the Los Angeles City Council, will be far reaching supporting about nine million TEUs, over 15,000 truck providers and thousands of cargo importers. “With our container volumes at record highs, the GE digital shipping solution is critical to our future success,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “The GE portal is an investment in the long-term growth of the Port of Los Angeles and tells our stakeholders and customers that we take seriously our responsibility to find new ways to drive efficiencies and optimization. We believe this project will not only move the needle but could be a game changer.”

After looking at preliminary pilot results, the port expects eight to 12 percent efficiency gains as the program expands to the rest of the port.

Pilot participants surveyed about the program expressed a desire for more details about each shipment, and more terminals and shipping lines involvement in the pilot, a suggestion that resulted in the new commercial agreement, the port reported.

The pilot was launched with the world’s two biggest shipping lines, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co., along with port’s flagship terminal APMT at Pier 400. The program involved tracking the performance levels of the 2-M Alliance’s new TransPacific 6 service.

The program allows data that would typically be available 24- to 36-hours before a ship arrives to now be available up to 14 days before the ship comes to Los Angeles, allowing for the supply chain to better prepare for loading and unloading by digitally streamlining the process.

“This project has been a home run,” said John Ochs, senior director at APM Terminals, the site of the pilot project. “The Port of Los Angeles has transformed data into information that can be utilized by stakeholders to optimize their goods movement processes.”

Weston LaBar, executive director of the Harbor Trucking Association, also responded positively to the program. “A trucking dispatcher may visit up to 40 websites a day just to coordinate cargo movement into the port complex,” he said. “Having a single portal, a single reference point, will create new levels of efficiency that we’ve been seeking for a long time.”

Clean Air Action Plan Workshop

By Karen Robes Meeks

Stakeholders will have the chance to weigh in on the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach’s latest draft update of the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) at a public workshop at the end of August.

The workshop, which will also be live streamed on the ports’ and CAAP’s websites, will allow speakers to give up to three minutes of verbal comment, as well as submit a comment card.

Comments may also be emailed to until 5 p.m. on September 18.

Adopted in 2006, the document is the twin ports’ living blueprint for raising Southern California’s air quality by lowering the pollution created by operations at the ports.

The plan calls for cleaner equipment and procedures for vessels, trains and trucks, including curbing at-berth emissions and creating a zero emission drayage truck pilot program in the coming years.

Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor commissioners are expected to decide on the final draft in November.

The workshop will take place at 5 p.m. on August 30 at Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St. in Wilmington.

For more information visit The draft update can be found at, and

Fewer but Bigger Ships at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland could receive its second-fewest container ship visits in a decade this season , as multiple larger ships carrying more cargo come to the port.

Thus far this year, 954 container ships have visited Oakland, down 7.6 percent from the 1,032 visits registered during the same period in 2016. If the trend continues, the port anticipates 100 fewer ships coming to Oakland. Maritime Director John Driscoll sees that statistic as a positive sign.

“This is a good trend,” he said. “Our cargo volume is up but with fewer ships, we reduce diesel emissions and ease berth crowding.”

The number of ships calling to Oakland have fallen 15 percent since 2007, with the lowest number of calls taking place in 2015, when only 1,433 ships visited.

Yet Oakland posted a two percent increase in loaded container volume in 2017 and is on track to set a cargo record for the second consecutive year.

Port of Seattle Addresses City Traffic Woes

By Karen Robes Meeks

A critical east-west street corridor for Port of Seattle freight and commuters will be receiving a significant financial boost to improve its safety and accessibility.

Civic, business and port leaders this month announced a memorandum of understanding that would dedicate up to $10 million from the port toward finishing the $123 million South Lander street bridge project and $5 million to find ways to improve traffic and safety issues on key freight and transit corridors throughout Seattle, according to the port.

“The City of Seattle, the Port of Seattle, the state of Washington, and federal leaders like United States Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell all came together around this vital infrastructure project because we are all committed to building a thriving, 21st Century economy that channels our booming $38 billion maritime industry,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I’ve worked on this project dating back to my time in the state legislature, to support our industrial and maritime economy. Our shared economic values of mobility, safety, living wage jobs, and a clean environment all aligned around this bridge to the future.”

The program will create efficiency for freight, and continue the safe movement of cargo through the gateway, said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton.

“This partnership will improve transportation for commuters, truckers, buses and bicyclists in these critical corridors,” he said.

Considered one of the nation’s busiest rail crossings, the South Lander Street bridge shuts down for nearly five hours a day because of rail traffic, which affects 13,000 vehicles.

Also one of Washington state’s most high-risk rail crossings, the corridor was the site of three deaths since 2011 and has reported an average of 485 track violations daily from cars, pedestrians and bicycles that ignore deployed rail barriers and cross the track.

The project, which is expected to break ground early next year, will take out all at-grade access to the tracks and result in a new four-lane bridge that will safely link 1,400 pedestrians who mainly travel between the SODO light rail station and area employers daily, according to the port.

“Washington state loses millions of dollars in economic activity because of train, truck, and urban traffic congestion at Lander Street alone,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, who helped secure an additional $45 million FASTLANE grant for the project last fall. “By moving freight faster, we can fuel our export economy and create good paying jobs.”

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

USCG Arctic Dive Operations

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in 11 years, the US Coast Guard began shipboard dive operations from a Coast Guard cutter in the Arctic.

Crews from Coast Guard Regional Dive Lockers San Diego and Honolulu and US Navy Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Intermediate Maintenance Facility made up the dive team.

It was the first time dive board operations took place since 2006, when Coast Guard divers Lt. Jessica Hill and Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Duque died during an ice dive in the Arctic Ocean aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a 420-foot long research vessel.

The Coast Guard reviewed its dive program following their deaths, enhancing “diving proficiency and retention by making diving a primary duty and establishing the first three regional dive lockers to centralize control, training and operations,” according to the Coast Guard.

The crew of the Healy and joint dive team honored the fallen divers in a memorial July 29 during the vessel’s current Arctic patrol.

“There is no prospect more sobering than the death of a crewmember,” said Capt. Greg Tlapa, commanding officer of the Healy. “We honor the memory of our shipmates, Lt. Hill and Petty Officer 2nd Class Duque, and will never forget their sacrifices. It gives our crew great pride to re-establish dive capabilities to Healy and meet the subsurface needs and challenges our service will face in the coming years in the Arctic.”

San Diego Facility Closure

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility will be closed after Labor Day weekend until March 2018 to allow the Port of San Diego to finalize the improvement project.

The closure, which will begin September 5, will enable crews to continue work on jetty removal to make way for a new concrete breakwater and walkway.

Once completed, the Shelter Island facility will have new lighting and signage, longer boarding floats, a bigger maneuvering area in the basin, walking platforms with viewing areas for the public and restrooms, walkways and docks that better accommodates those with disabilities.

Visit to find out alternate launch areas during construction.

New CBP Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) formally instated its new port director for the Los Angeles/Long Beach and Port Hueneme Ports of Entry.

In a Change of Command ceremony at Fort MacArthur AFB Community Center in San Pedro, LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke takes over for Carlos C. Martel, Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, who served as LA/LB Port Director from July 2011 to September 2016.

“LaFonda brings a wealth of management expertise and a unique skill set, she is an engaging person, a coalition builder and she truly is an advocate for our employees and our partners,” Martel said. “LaFonda is also an innovator she is always looking for new opportunities to meet the needs of today and the demands of tomorrow.”

Sutton-Burke, who started as a US Customers inspector in El Paso in 1993, was director of the Non-Intrusive Inspection Division at CBP Headquarters from 2012 to 2016.

Before that, she was director of the NII Division within the Office of Field Operations overseeing a $4.6 billion portfolio of all NII technology lifecycle functions consisting of over 40,000 pieces of X-ray and imaging equipment that provides critical interdiction and detection capabilities to over 320 ports of entry and 52,000 CBP officers and agents.

She has been serving in the current role since January 2017.

New Roof at Bellingham

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham recently finished a $500,000 roofing project at Bellingham Shipping Terminal.

The project, which was done on time and under budget, involved replacing the 45,786-square foot-roof on Warehouse 2 with weather-resistant materials that would protect moisture-sensitive products.

“We took advantage of the summer weather and knew what to expect after replacing a similar roof on an adjacent warehouse at the Shipping Terminal last year,” said Port Engineer Jon Gibson.

The project was the latest in a series of upgrades done by the port, including a new bulkhead, updated stormwater and power systems and cleaning up contamination in the Whatcom Waterway.

“Reactivating the Shipping Terminal to create family-wage jobs for local residents is a strategic priority for the Port of Bellingham” said Port Commission President Dan Robbins. “The Port has made significant investments to modernize this facility and having dry storage warehouses available is essential in attracting bulk and break bulk shipping customers to Whatcom County.”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cleaner Harbor Craft

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation’s two busiest seaports are looking to test new technologies that could make the engines of existing tugboats, barges and other harbor craft cleaner.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are requesting proposals from companies that want to demonstrate tech that could combat diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution that come from harbor craft.

The demonstrations would be funded by the Technology Advancement Program, which gives each port $250,000 to study technology that could elevate harbor craft engines from Tier 2 to Tier 3 or Tier 4 standards. The upgrade would make the engines up to 70 percent cleaner.

“We are looking at ways to reduce emissions from harbor craft beyond existing regulatory requirements,” said Port of Long Beach Director of Environmental Planning Heather Tomley. “We need more viable cost effective technologies, and as the Green Port, we’re going to leverage all of our tools to lead the goods movement industry to a more sustainable future.”

The deadline for proposals is Sept. 21. For more, visit

Oakland Cold Ironing

By Karen Robes Meeks

In an effort to lower ship-generated pollution, the Port of Oakland is moving forward with a new $230,000 high-voltage cable system that will allow more ships to link to shore power.

Oakland International Container Terminal will use the 200-foot “cable-on-reel system,” which will allow ships that can’t reach the landside electrical vaults at berth to plug in, according to the port.

Some 400 ships have the capability to use shore power, but many are unable to reach the electrical vaults to make the connection.

The mobile system attempts to close the gap. Attached to a trailer, the system’s 10-foot-tall reel can move alongside vessels to link them to one of the marine terminal’s 18 electrical vaults.

Two successful trials have already been completed of the system, which could be implemented full-time by the fall.

“We’re continually working to reduce emissions,” said Chris Chan, the Port’s Director of Engineering. “This is a way to build on our success and extend our reach.”

The system will hasten a program that since 2009 has aided in lowering emissions by 76 percent, according to the port.

Cleanest Marina

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Charleston Marina earned perfect marks on its latest Clean Marina Inspection, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay announced earlier this month.

The marina received a 44 out of 44 on the inspection.

Started in 2005, the Oregon Clean Marina program gives guidance on solid waste and stormwater management, sewage and other issues. The Oregon State Marine Board oversees the program.

The Charleston Marina, which has taken part in the Clean Marina program since 2007, has more than 400 slips and new energy-saving LED lighting for its docks, parking lots and facilities through the Energy Trust of Oregon.

New Finance Director at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

A familiar face is returning to the Port of Long Beach’s Finance and Administration Bureau.

Sam Joumblat, the chief financial officer of Total Transportation Services Inc. will lead as the port’s Managing Director of Finance and Administration.

Joumblat, who begins this month, worked for the port as chief financial officer from 2006 to 2014. Before that, he was Deputy City Auditor for the city of Long Beach. In the private sector, he served as a senior manager with Arthur Andersen and 15 years with Atlantic Richfield Co. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degrees in business administration, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering from the University of Southern California.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently approved his appointment.

“Sam has the years of experience needed to maintain and improve the port’s strong financial position,” said former Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán.

Joumblat will oversee the port’s $750 million budget and its 10-year, $4 billion capital improvement program, which encompasses the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement and Middle Harbor Redevelopment projects.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Hotel for Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

In 2019, a new hotel is expected to be built at Port of Vancouver USA’s Terminal 1 waterfront development.

The port Board of Commissioners recently blessed a 50-year lease with Vancouver, Washington-based Vesta Hospitality to build a 160-room AC by Marriott Hotel at Terminal 1’s Block D, a prime location bordered by the port’s Columbia River dock, the future Daniels Way pedestrian plaza, and The Waterfront Vancouver, a $1.5 billion mixed-use development.

“Vesta Hospitality shares our vision for Terminal 1 as a premier local destination, a place where neighbors and visitors are welcomed to the waterfront to enjoy all that’s great and unique about Vancouver,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “We’re thrilled to have them as partners and look forward to breaking ground next year.”

Construction for the $40 million project is set to start in 2018.

“We’re really pleased to be working with the port and excited about building this type of hotel in Vancouver,” said Vesta Hospitality Chairman and CEO Rick Takach. “It’s different than anything else we have in Vancouver, and I’m happy to bring a new asset to my hometown. Vesta’s based here, I live here, and we’re excited to expand here.”

When fully operational, Terminal 1 will feature nearly 950,000-square feet of new mixed-use development and is anticipated to generate 800 new jobs and close to $93 million in state and local taxes over 25 years, according to the port.

Oakland Imports Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland moved a record amount of imports last month, according to the port’s recent statistics. The port handled 84,835 TEUs in imports in July, moving 5.4 percent more than in 2016 with 80,508 TEUs and beating a March 2015 record of 84,023 TEUs in imported containers.

Import volumes are up 3.7 percent in the first seven months of 2017, which the port is attributing to the economic health of its core market in Northern California and Western Nevada and to the continued strength of US consumer spending.

“Retailers have been forecasting strong peak season import numbers this year and so far, they’re right,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We’re glad to support them and we are ready for more.”

Meanwhile, the port saw 74,821 TEUs in exports in July, a 3.5 decrease from the same period last year, when the it moved 77,573 TEUs.

Overall, 209,883 TEUs in cargo volumes was handled in July, including empty containers, a 1.6 percent increase from July 2016, when Oakland moved 206,600 TEUs.

Overstock to Double at Grays Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks’s presence in the Port of Grays Harbor’s Satsop Business Park will double in size.

The Port Harbor Commission recently agreed to a lease amendment that will increase the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company’s footprint to include the 43,000-square-foot Flex Tech Building. expects to be operational by October 1.

“We are extremely excited for Overstock’s expansion at the Park and the additional jobs it will bring to the region,” announced Commission President Jack Thompson. “Overstock has been a wonderful partner for the Satsop Business Park and Grays Harbor as a whole. We are confident they will be able to add more local, quality employees to their team here in Washington.”

The approval comes three months after commissioners welcomed with a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the company’s Evergreen Customer Care Call Center at the Satsop Business Park, a move that is expected to add at least 150 new employees all likely to come from the five-county region of Grays Harbor, Thurston, Lewis, Mason and Pacific.

“Our Elma-based associates are performing well and providing excellent customer care, and the response from the community has been everything we could have hoped for thus far,” said Senior Vice President Carter Lee. “As a result, we’ve moved up plans to expand our Evergreen Customer Care center, and are looking forward to finding more amazing associates from the community to join our Overstock family.”

Satsop Business Park is a mixed-use facility located two hours away from Seattle, Wash., that is home to more than 30 businesses and 600 acres of developed land and buildings. The Grays Harbor Public Development Authority, which developed the site, transferred the park’s management and assets to the Port of Grays Harbor in January 2013.

Cargo Record at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last July, the Port of Long Beach moved more cargo than it ever did in any month in its port history.

The nation’s second busiest seaport moved 720,312 TEUs, beating the previous record set in August 2015, according to the port’s latest numbers. This represents a 13.1 percent jump compare to July 2016.

During the month, Long Beach also handled a record-setting 378,820 TEUs in imports, a 16.3 percent increase, while exports fell 11.7 percent compare to the same period last year, moving only 126,098 containers.

Meanwhile, 215,394 TEUs in empty containers, boxes sent overseas to be refilled with goods pass through the port, a 27.7 percent increase.

“These numbers are great for Long Beach and good news for the economy,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “They are also indicators of the kind of service we provide to our customers as they seek the best and most efficient pathways to get their goods to U.S. markets.”

Up 6.4 percent from 2016 to 2017, Long Beach is seeing steadily rising cargo volumes from a year ago, posting five straight months of increases.

“Given the unprecedented change in the industry, we are pleased to see shippers choosing Long Beach,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We thank our industry partners for having confidence in this port, and we pledge to continue to provide the best service and the best facilities.”

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Sets July Box Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted the busiest July in its history, moving 796,804 TEUs last month, according to statistics released by the port Thursday.

This represents a 16 percent jump from the same period last year, when the port moved 687,891 TEUs. It also surpassed the 761,326 TEUs established back in July 2006, thus breaking the previous record. The port also handled 417,090 imported TEUs , a 13 percent spike from July 2016, and moved 154,925 TEUs in exports, a 17 percent increase over last year.

“As we strive to maintain our competitive edge with these record volumes, it’s important to acknowledge the Pacific Maritime Association and the good men and women of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union who just extended their contract with terminal operators until 2022,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The certainty that comes from this decision builds further long-term confidence in our supply chain as we continue to focus on superior infrastructure, innovative leadership and extraordinary customer service.”

The port is on its way to exceed last year’s record of 8.8 million TEUs, as cargo volumes are currently up 9.5 percent thus far.

Electric Trucks at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

This September, trucking company GSC Logistics will launch a three-year pilot program to test an all-electric big rig at the Port of Oakland, Calif.

GSC, considered the port’s biggest motor carrier handling the annual equivalent of 100,000 TEUs in Northern California and Nevada, will conduct the testing to see if zero-emission freight hauling is attainable.

The truck, which possesses a 100-mile battery range, will move import containers from the port’s marine terminals to a nearby yard and will be able to plug in at a charging station installed by the company.

“The purpose of the demo is to prove that battery-operated trucks can work in real world applications and port operations,” said GSC CEO Scott Taylor. “Depending on the efficiency, reliability, productivity and economics of battery-powered trucks, GSC would certainly entertain the possibility of integrating them into our fleet in the future,” he said.

This testing is sponsored by the California Air Resources Board, which last year began the zero-emission truck trial and is sponsoring the demonstration of five battery-operated trucks in Southern California in conjunction with the Oakland study.

“We’re out to prove that zero-emission, battery-powered trucks can be used in heavy-duty applications,” said Andy Swanton of subsidiary BYD California, whose company is manufacturing the trucks.

San Diego Harbor Police to Help Philippine
Law Enforcement

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US State Department has recruited the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department’s dive team to help federal and Philippine maritime law enforcement agencies improve their ability to conduct underwater searches and respond to disaster situations in the Philippines.

The port dive team took part in a curriculum development workshop from July 17–20 with six Philippine maritime law enforcement experts from the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.

The workshop addressed various topics, such as detecting illegal drugs smuggled on the hull of vessels or dumped overboard for later retrieval. The curriculum will eventually be part of the three Philippine law enforcement agencies’ training academies.

“This is another important opportunity in our partnership with US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said Chief John Bolduc, Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department.

“Our dive team is essential in our department’s work to deter crime locally and in maintaining homeland security. By sharing our expertise with our counterparts at INL and in Philippine law enforcement, we’re helping to keep ports and harbors around the world safe as well,” he added.

The effort is part of a broader program to share best practices with law enforcement agencies for ports and harbors around the world to support foreign port security and fight international crime.

Everett Guiding Principles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett has released the guiding principles that will serve as the basis for the development of the port’s Marina Business Plan. Developed over the last six months by an ad hoc citizen committee made up of boaters, business owners, developers and engineers, the list contains the following guidelines:

• Enacting innovative lease, management, finance, and construction options, including privatization to reach financial sustainability;

• Creating new facilities that can respond to changes in the market that can work with the natural hydraulic and sediment conditions;

• Exploring a tiered service level structure for moorage fees; and

• Fostering user-friendly connectivity between marina basins and downtown Everett.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

More Port Bicycles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Vancouver USA received a $485,000 grant from the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) to develop a multimodal path at Terminal 1.The path will link the City of Vancouver’s Renaissance Trail and the new waterfront park. The project is slated for completion in 2018.

Cyclists and pedestrians will also be able to use another path to move to and from the trail and the new Grant Street Pier.

“The port is building on its vision for the waterfront, and this grant from RTC will help us reach that vision,” said Port of Vancouver Commissioner Jerry Oliver, who also represents Clark County’s public ports on the 14-member RTC Board of Directors. The path is part of a larger effort by the port to revitalize Terminal 1, a former industrial and commercial site, into a mixed-used facility.

Nearly $4 million is budgeted for trail design, geotechnical work, engineering and construction.

Money for the grant come from federal Transportation Alternatives Program.

Longshoremen Agree to Extension

By Karen Robes Meeks

West Coast dockworkers have formally agreed to extend their contract three more years, guaranteeing a stable labor force as peak season is underway.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents roughly 20,000 workers at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington, ratified its contract extension with the Pacific Maritime Association.

About 67 percent of ILWU members voted to extend the contract from 2019 to 2022, according to the ILWU’s Coast Balloting Committee, which announced Friday that the vote took place.

The prolonged contract includes increased wages and pensions and maintains health benefits, according to the union. “The rank-and-file membership has made their decision and expressed a clear choice,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “During the past year we saw a healthy debate and heard different points of view, with concerns raised by all sides. The democratic process allowed us to make a difficult decision and arrive at the best choice under the circumstances.”

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka applauded the ratification.

“The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s vote to extend their contract by three years helps sustain the momentum building in our supply chain as we continue to focus on delivering innovation, value and efficiency for the US importers and exporters,” Seroka said. “The certainty that comes with this contract extension is great news for all of Southern California, where one in nine jobs in the five-county region are connected to the San Pedro Bay port complex.”

The extension gives the supply chain confidence that contract disputes won’t distract from the business of the moving cargo. “This shows that the West Coast means business when it comes to moving cargo for our customers,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, who released a statement when it appeared that the extension would likely happen. “We’re the most efficient, timely and cost-effective gateway for international trade and with a contract extension, we’re also the most dependable.”

Seattle Seeks CEO

By Karen Robes Meeks

The search for a new executive director for the Port of Seattle has officially begun.

The commission has posted the job after stakeholders weighed in on what qualities and attributes are needed in a potential port leader.

“We value the thoughtful input of our employees and broader community regarding the qualities needed in our next Executive Director,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire.

The port received over 500 responses, conducted five employee forums that drew over 200 employees, and spoke to more than 100 community, civic and business stakeholders.

The feedback emphasized strategic and entrepreneurial leadership qualities, experience in working in complex organizations and the ability to form strong relationships that is done in a transparent and inclusive way.

“We seek a great public servant to lead the port during this dynamic time to achieve our goals for broadly shared economic opportunity, job creation, environmental sustainability and equity,” said Commissioner Fred Felleman, who is co-leading the search effort with Gregoire.

The commission plans to select a new executive director by late fall to replace former chief Ted Fick, who resigned in February. The next executive director will oversee the expansion of the Sea-Tac International Airport support the North Pacific Fishing Fleet, the port’s real estate assets, about 1,900 employees and a billion-dollar budget.

For more information visit Tags: Port of Seattle, Executive Director, Seattle Port Commission