Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LA and LB Ports Seek Emissions Reduction Proposals

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation’s two busiest seaports are seeking proposals from companies that can bring new pollution-reducing technology to tankers, vehicle carriers and other non-container vessels.

Proposals must be submitted by February 27 to the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles, both of which will fund potential projects through their Technology Advancement Program.

The program offers $500,000 from each port toward demonstrations of technology that can help ships that don’t meet the state’s shore power mandate by curbing at-berth emissions. At least half of the project cost must come from the proposer.

Both ports have spent close to $400 million to outfit their docks with power hookups and other infrastructure for shore power.

For more about the proposal, visit http://www.cleanairactionplan.org/technology-advancement-program/

Kalama Adding Beer and Rooms

By Karen Robes Meeks

A McMenamins brewpub and hotel project at the Port of Kalama is on schedule to open in March 2018.

Construction of the building’s full height and most of the interior walls are completed, the rough interior construction is nearly done, as well as plumbing and electric work.

McMenamins will begin the finish work by including local historic details to the restaurant and hotel. When completed, McMenamins will feature 40 hotel rooms, a restaurant and a rooftop pub. It will complement the Ahles Point Small Bar currently under construction by local builder Mountain Log Homes south of the parks.

“We expect the entire McMenamins Project to be completed in the spring,” said Eric Yakovich, Port Economic Development Manager. “We look forward to enjoying all the amenities McMenamins has to offer as a new member of our community.”

Vancouver, USA Strategic Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners will take part of a special workshop on December 14 that focuses on updating the port’s strategic plan.

At the 8:30 a.m. workshop, which is open to the public, consultant Maul Foster & Alongi will give an overview of the strategic planning process. For much of next year, the consultant will be gathering input from stakeholders and staff members to help form the update, which is expected to be implemented in late 2018.

Although parts of the plan have been amended annually, this is the first time in more than a decade that the plan will be entirely updated.

“During that time, the port has grown and completed or made significant progress on many key initiatives, including the West Vancouver Freight Access Project and Centennial Industrial Building,” according to the port. “Work is now underway to develop and create a new strategic plan to guide port staff and resources for the next decade.”

Record Volumes Predicted at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Improved infrastructure coupled with new supply chain capabilities should result in record cargo volume at the Port of Oakland. It could also make Oakland a first port of call for container ships visiting the US from Asia. That’s the message a senior Port official gave supply chain executives this week.

Port of Oakland’s Maritime Director John Driscoll recently forecasted that the port will see record-level annual cargo volume through 2022.

This prediction is based on the various projects currently under construction that would draw more containerized cargo to Oakland starting early next year.

Those projects include raising four ship-to-shore cranes 27 feet higher at Oakland International Container Terminal; the anticipated August opening of Cool Port Oakland, a refrigeration plant that can annually process some 27,000 20-foot containers full of meat; and Seaport Logistics Complex, a 440,000-square-foot distribution center for transloading.

“I’m forecasting growth because of the development that’s going on here,” Driscoll told about 50 trade and transportation leaders who meet three times a year to review Oakland’s operating performance.

“It won’t be dramatic – it will be steady – but it will result in more cargo volume than we’ve ever had before,” Driscoll said.

He added that three international shipping lines are considering first calls to Oakland because of the port’s recent improvements.

“The ocean carriers are looking favorably at Oakland,” he said. “It’s a major discussion between them and their import customers.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Oakland’s International Maritime Center
Lease Renewed

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nearly 5,000 sailors who arrive at the Port of Oakland annually on container ships will continue to have Oakland’s International Maritime Center as a safe place to rest, thanks to the Port Commissioners’ recent decision to extend for the next five years its rent-free lease with the Center.

The lease encompasses 0.2 acres of land near Ben E. Nutter marine terminal. The operators of the International Maritime Center own the building.

The center is a resource for visiting sailors, offering shopping excursions, a place to play billiards and other recreation activities as well as spiritual care through the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate, Apostleship of the Sea, Korean Presbyterian, and others.

“Our role is to recognize and appreciate the contributions of seafarers and shipping to the Bay Area,” International Maritime Center Director John Claassen said. “We provide a safe space for the seafarers and the Port community to just take a break.”

Kalama Marina Construction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Marina construction at the Port of Kalama is expected to start early next year.

“The floats at the boat launch, fuel dock, and existing guest dock will be replaced along with the main walkway floats in the marina,” said Recreation Administrator Paul Morin. “In addition, there will be utility and gangway/ADA upgrades. The grant from the [Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office] will help offset the costs for renovating the boat launch and existing guest dock.”

New fuel systems and utilities will also be installed, steel will replace the wood pilings. Potable water lines will be replaced, and the water system will be graded for emergency response.

Boat Houses A and B will see power boosted from 30 to 50 amps, while Houses C and I will go from 20 to 30 amps. The south end of the marina will also be ADA accessible. The wailer boards on the outside slips that keep the floats together will be replaced.

Long Beach Considers Air Draft Issues

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners will consider on December 11 an environmental impact report that studies a Southern California Edison proposal to remove and raise its current transmission and telecommunication lines so ships can move safely in the Inner Harbor.

The project would involve taking out a section of the existing transmission line and raising other segments of transmission and telecommunication lines as well as supporting transmission structures that cross the Cerritos Channel at Piers A and S.

The transmission lines and associated towers, which are currently 155 feet above water, will need to be at least 205 feet to avoid navigation issues. The new span being built to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge will also be 205 feet above the port's Back Channel.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. at the Port Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive in Long Beach. The report can be found at www.polb.com/ceqa. The public can also submit comments via email at ceqa@polb.com.

Port of Los Angeles Master Plan Public Meeting

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public can weigh in on a completed draft amendment of the Port of Los Angeles’ Master Plan.

According to the port, the amendment includes a proposed map change to Planning Area 1 that adds maritime support to the commercial area at Berth 73A, the institutional area near the municipal fish market (Canetti’s building), and the proposed Jankovich barge area at B51.

A hearing will take place at 8:30 a.m. on December 14 at the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting at the Los Angeles Harbor Department Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro.

Comments can also be sent by December 14 to the port’s Planning and Strategy Division, 425 S. Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 or emailed to djordan@portla.org.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Space for New Business at Port of Olympia

By Karen Robes Meeks

Small and budding entrepreneurs will get the chance to develop and grow in Thurston County, thanks to an interlocal agreement recently struck by the Port of Olympia and the city of Lacey.

The agreement allows for entrepreneurs and new businesses to have entry-level tenant space in the Lacey Gateway area to nurture and expand their enterprises and connect them to resources such as the Lacey MakerSpace, South Puget Sound Community College Center for Business and Innovation, and Saint Martin’s University.

“This is a big step in the Port’s renewed focus on creating economic opportunities for small and emerging businesses that want to grow and contribute to a prosperous Thurston County,” said Port Commissioner Joe Downing.

In the coming months, the port and city will put together a market analysis to identify potential tenants and design improvements needed to accommodate future tenants. The port will be in charge of the study and future operations at the space; the city will contribute funds for the market analysis and improvements to the space.

Long Beach Community Health Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach programs that help those dealing with respiratory and cardiopulmonary issues will be receiving a financial boost from the Port of Long Beach.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently voted to give $3 million from the port’s Community Grants Program toward the effort.

Recipients include:

St. Mary Medical Center for its Respiratory Rescue Program, which offers mobile health screenings, education and home visits;

The Children’s Clinic for Breathe Better Together;

MemorialCare Medical Center Foundation for its Community Health Worker Asthma Intervention Program;

City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services for its Cambodian Community Asthma Management Program; and

California Aquatic Therapy and Wellness Center for its Respiratory Health Improvement Program. “The Port considers itself a part of this community, and we listen to our neighbors. The grants program was created in direct response to the community’s advocacy,” said Harbor Commission Vice President Tracy Egoscue. “This kind of targeted help to our neighbors was exactly what we envisioned when we started the Community Grants Program. We’re honored to help fund these projects to improve community health.”

LA Port Wins Globalization Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles’ Trade Connect Program was recently honored with the Responding to Globalization award at the seventh annual Orange County Business School’s Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards.

The awards took place Nov. 16 and were sponsored by JP Morgan Chase & Co. and spotlights those that have enacted policies and programs that foster job creation and remove barriers that hinder economic growth.

The port’s Trade Connect Program was created to help educate firms, create jobs and nurture more trade flow in Southern California through seminars. The program has garnered various awards, including a pair of Presidential "E Awards,” considered the county’s highest export trade honor.

Bellingham Prioritizes Infrastructure

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham’s recently approved $58 million budget for 2018 prioritizes investments in infrastructure, environmental cleanup, the downtown waterfront and economic development. The port’s fiscal plan includes:

More than $7 million invested into Bellingham Shipping Terminal for large equipment, power upgrades and main pier improvements;

$2.6 million toward a new commercial fishing web house in Blaine and the removal of the current web house to improve the layout of Blaine Marine Industrial Park;

$12.5 million to clean up historic contamination at Fairhaven Shipyard, improve marine habitat and modernize aging infrastructure; and

More than $1 million in new infrastructure to continue supporting the Waterfront District. Next year, the port also plans to support the Fairhaven Quiet Zone and curb train horn noise by upgrading the railroad crossings at Harris Avenue, the Alaska Ferry access road, and in Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Port of Oakland Agrees to Local Contracts

By Karen Robes Meeks

After more than 20 months of negotiations, the Port of Oakland, developer CenterPoint and workforce development activists have emerged with an agreement that would prioritize local hiring for construction at Seaport Logistics Complex.

The agreement will emphasize hiring disadvantaged workers and will feature job-training to create a pool of local labor. It also includes living wages and benefits.

“Community leaders, CenterPoint and the Port demonstrated how large-scale development deals can offer shared benefit to our neighboring community, empower local residents and strengthen our economy,” said Port of Oakland Social Responsibility Director Amy Tharpe. “The goal is to level the playing field and provide community members, regardless of perceived barriers, with priority access to jobs and opportunity.”

The work will involve a 440,000-square-foot distribution facility to be built at the former Oakland Army Base property, the first building at the complex.

"This agreement is part of the growing grassroots movement across the country to win locally and set in motion a wave of larger national change," said Nikki Fortunato Bas, Executive Director of the Partnership for Working Families. "This is how we take back our cities, our communities and our democracy: policy by policy on the local level."

Long Beach Receives EPA Funds

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently received a financial boost to help its marine partners have more environmental-friendly equipment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will give the port $2.4 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act funds to help Stevedoring Services of America (SSA), Foss Maritime and Curtin Maritime toward equipment that is zero-emission or the cleanest available.

The funds will allow SSA to make three rubber-tired gantry cranes electric and allow Foss and Curtin to modernize four tugboats with the cleanest-running engines.

“Every step we take to cut air pollution is one toward our ultimate goal of being the world’s first zero-emission seaport,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We thank the EPA for providing funds to facilitate these projects and improve the health of our community.”

The equipment is expected to be in place by late 2019.

First Tenant for Kalama Facility

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Kalama has secured its first tenant for its new 110,000-square-foot industrial facility. The port has inked a lease with Bridger Steel to occupy 30,000-square feet of space for office and warehouse use, as well as 10,000-square feet of sheltered area for truck loading at Kalama River Industrial Park. Officials plan to break ground in December.

Bridger Steel, whose Kalama facility is expected to open summer 2018, is a manufacturer of panel systems that is used for roofing, siding and interior applications.

“The Port of Kalama is the ideal location for us to expand our business facilities and better serve our customers in the Pacific Northwest,” said Bridger Steel Inc. National Sales and Marketing Director Steve Collins. “Kalama’s location and proximity to I-5 will enable us to serve a very large area of the Pacific Northwest very quickly.”

Hawaii Search and Rescue Exercise

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, representatives with the U.S. Coast Guard, Kauai Fire Department, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, and Kauai Police Department partnered for a search and rescue exercise near Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii.

The point of the exercise, which took place Thursday morning, was to allow the agencies to deploy their emergency land, sea and air craft to test and review communications among themselves, as well as their response plans and actions, and to look for any shortfalls in the process.

The exercise involved multiple first responders seeking a weighted Oscar dummy in the water to simulate a missing mariner, according to the Coast Guard.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Long Beach Awards Sponsorships

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, the body that governs the port, awarded more than $440,000 in sponsorships to 100 local groups.

The funds come from the port’s community sponsorship program, designed to bring public awareness to the role it plays on international trade and highlight its effort in helping communities.

Events funded by the port include the Cambodia Town Culture Festival, the American Cancer Society’s Long Beach Cancer League Gala, Fourth Fridays on Fourth Street and the International City Theatre’s Free Saturday Family Theatre Series.

“Programs like this show our commitment to serving the public and promoting groups and events that make Long Beach a better place to live and work,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Our community sponsorships provide our staff with opportunities to interact with residents who may not know their port brings them many of the goods they use every day and the port supports more than a million jobs around the country.”

Bellingham Development Hearing

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham Commission is expected to hear from the public on the port’s latest draft of its Recreation, Conservation and Public Access Plan, a six-year blueprint that will help the port decide where to construct new recreation facilities, improve existing facilities and which capital improvements need to be made.

The port commission will host a hearing on the matter at 4 p.m. on December 5 in the Harbor Center Conference Room. The public can also submit written comments by sending them to Greg McHenry, 1801 Roeder Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225 or via email at GregM@portofbellingham.com. Submission deadline is December 5.

Everett Budget Approved

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett Commission recently approved a $85.7 million fiscal. The 2018 budget covered more than 100 employees and includes $25.8 million in operating/non-operating expenses, $43.7 million in new capital investment and an additional $10 million in capital investment carry over from 2017, as well as a $6.2 million debt payment. The budget also includes funding for 56 capital projects, including work on the South Terminal Wharf and Electrical Upgrade, and Fisherman’s Harbor as the two main undertakings.

The port’s latest budget reflects its vision to modernize its facilities and nurture the Waterfront Place Central Development community.

Visit http://www.portofeverett.com/your-port/financial-information for more.

San Diego Port Honored

By Karen Robes Meeks

SANDAG has honored the Port of San Diego as a Gold Tier recipient of an iCommute Diamond Award for Excellence in Commute Programs for Fiscal Year 2017.

The iCommute Diamond Awards are bestowed annually on San Diego Regional employers to recognize their efforts in creating innovative programs that encourage employees to use alternative ways to commute.

The port has organized events and initiatives toward that efforts, such as hosting a Bike to Work Day, taking part in the iCommute Rideshare Corporate Challenge 2016, hosting a Health and Sustainability Fair, developing a reimbursement program for employees who use alternative transportation and offering an alternative workweek schedule.

“In accordance with the port’s Climate Action Plan, we work hard to develop programs that encourage the safekeeping of the environment,” said port chairman Robert “Dukie” Valderrama. “This award recognizes our efforts and highlights the many effective initiatives and events our Green Team launched to encourage port employees to opt for eco-friendly methods of transportation.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Long Beach Historically Busy

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently posted its busiest October in history moving 669,218 TEUs, up 15 percent from the same period last year, according to the latest numbers.

The port handled 339,013 imported TEUs, a 14.3 percent spike from October 2016. Meanwhile, it moved slightly fewer exports year over year, about 0.5 percent, to 126,150 containers. Empty containers, which are sent overseas to be replenished with products, rose 28.9 percent, to 204,055 TEUs.

This latest statistic reflects what continues to be a record-setting trend at the nation’s second busiest seaport. Last month was the port’s fourth-busiest of 2017 after July, September and August.

“October used to be the industry’s busiest month of the year, with retailers preparing for Christmas,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Now, with other popular shopping seasons like back-to-school, Halloween and Black Friday, ocean carriers are spreading shipments across more months to maximize the services we have developed to serve them.”

Through the first 10 months of the year, Long Beach handled 6,234,930 TEUs, a 9.5 percent increase over the same period in 2016.

“With two months left in 2017, we’re on track to have our best year ever,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum.

Los Angeles Harbor Parade Registration

By Karen Robes Meeks

Boaters can still register to participate in the 55th Annual Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat parade on December 2. The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles.

The vessel entry fee is $35 and includes one admission to the December 3 parade awards brunch at the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in San Pedro, Calif., where trophies for best use of this year’s parade theme “Peace Around the World,” Holiday Spirit, Most Original, Children’s Choice, Judge’s Choice, and the Grand Marshal’s Award will be presented.

November 30 is the registration deadline. For more details, visit laharborholidayafloat.org, or call parade committee co-chairs Henry Rivas at 323- 487-2101, or Donna Ethington at 310-549-8111.

Bellingham Waterfront Redevelopment

By Karen Robes Meeks

Construction on a pair of major redevelopment projects on the Bellingham waterfront are underway.

A new roadway is being built at the $8.7 million Granary Avenue and Laurel Street project. It will feature Whatcom County’s first cycle track, a dedicated bikeway on both sides of the road. Work is expected to take place over the next year and will involve constructing the part of Granary Avenue adjacent to Roeder Avenue. This will provide visitors early access to Waypoint Park and the historic Granary Building, which is currently being renovated to include shops, restaurants and upper-story offices.

The $2 million, one-acre Waypoint Park project is also under constructionand will feature a new beach, playground, waterfront trail, industrial art and near shore habitat at the end of Central Avenue next to the Granary Building. Work is anticipated to be completed by spring 2018.

New Everett Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Retired supply chain manager Bruce Fingarson will fill the Port of Everett Commission District 1 seat vacated by Troy McClelland, who stepped down after relocating to Massachusetts for a job assignment.

A Washington State University graduate who earned his degree in Business Administration, Fingarson worked in Everett in supplier management for The Boeing Co. for 36 years. He also has strong ties to the city. His family has made Everett their home since the 1920s when his grandparents settled there.

“We were fortunate to have a great group of outstanding candidates,” Port Commissioner Glen Bachman said. “We look forward to having Commissioner Fingarson join the Port team.”

Fingarson’s appointment will last until the next regular port election in 2019.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Volumes Down at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Despite last month being the Port of Los Angeles’ third best October, the nation’s busiest seaport saw its numbers fall 8.1 percent to 748,762 TEUs compared to the same period a year ago, according to the numbers released this week.

The port moved 383,385 imported TEUs, an 8.1 percent decrease from October 2016, and 144,209 exported TEUs, a 13.3 percent drop year over year.

The decrease is not wholly unexpected, given last year’s record-shattering October when the Los Angeles took on more cargo following the 2016 collapse of Hanjin.

Despite the drop, port officials highlighted its strong cargo volumes in 2017. With volumes up 6.4 percent to 7.6 million TEUs from 2016, the port is projected to move 9 million TEUs in one year, a milestone among ports in the Western Hemisphere.

New Fireboat at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach this week officially welcomed a second, new fireboat, Vigilance, in a ceremony dedicated to the late Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Dr. John Kashiwabara, the first Japanese American to serve on the board.

Vigilance, along with fireboat Protector, will be able to meet the needs of larger vessels now calling at the port.

“A capable fleet of fireboats that bring the best modern technology has to offer is essential in minimizing loss and maximizing business continuity for the port,” said Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee. “These amazing vessels will help us better serve the Port of Long Beach.”

Each boat has 10 water cannons that pump out more than 41,000 gallons per minute (four times more than the older fireboats they replaced) and can shoot water as far as two football fields, and taller than a 20-story building, according to the port.

“These fireboats are technological marvels, able to turn on a dime, move sideways and throw water or foam anywhere on the world's largest container ships and oil tankers,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “They are vital to ensure the flow of commerce, and important parts of the best-in-nation services we provide our customers.”

Bulk Tenant Returns to Longview

By Karen Robes Meeks

International Raw Materials (IRM) is returning to the Port of Longview. The Philadelphia-based company, which operated in Longview from 1981 to 2001, has recently signed an agreement with the Washington seaport to lease its Bridgeview Terminal.The company plans to make Longview its flagship location for exporting dry-bulk cargo, according to the port.

“IRM appreciates the opportunity to return to a port and a community that played a significant role in our company’s history and intends to grow and sustain commodity volumes through the facility and increase job frequency and revenue,” said IRM Vice President Tim Mahoney. “We have immediate intentions to improve existing components of the bulk loadout facility, while working to expand the on-site rail footprint.”

The port had been looking for a new tenant after its contract with Kinder Morgan expired.

“Based on their previous operating record at the port, I’m confident IRM will successfully operate Bridgeview Terminal,” said Commission President Doug Averett. “I’m looking forward to a long-term partnership that will bring additional economic vitality to our region.”

Vancouver USA Adopts 2018 Budget

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders for the Port of Vancouver USA this week adopted a $68.5 million fiscal plan for the upcoming year.

The 2018 budget is $16.7 million less than last year’s budget due to completion of much of the major parts of the West Vancouver Freight Access and Centennial Industrial Building projects.

About 22 percent of the port’s 2018 capital budget will go toward the completion of the West Vancouver Freight Access project, while nearly 36 percent is slated for port infrastructure and IT systems maintenance, and the remainder going toward waterfront, facility and terminal improvements.

The new budget also shows $38.22 million in operating revenues (a 3 percent increase from 2017), 70 percent of which is from marine, terminal and rail operations. The balance came from industrial property leases, rail and facilities, according to the port.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Container Service for Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Starting this January, The China Navigation Company (CNCo) – Swire Shipping – will commence a container shipping service at the Port of Portland, a move that revives container service at the terminal.

The new business was announced Monday by Governor Kate Brown, the Port of Portland, and Business Oregon on the heels of a recent trade mission to Hong Kong where Brown and port officials convened with Swire corporate executives.

“I am absolutely delighted to announce new container service will begin at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6," Brown said. "Not only does the container service support jobs for Oregonians, it's going to give more options to Oregon companies as we work to maximize Terminal 6. We’ve been working hard to expand export options to our Oregon business, which is why I recently lead a trade mission to Asia. Strong trading partnerships and access to global markets allow Oregon businesses to grow, helping to sustain a thriving statewide economy."

The new service is expected to be monthly and feature incoming Asia cargo, as well as containers sent to Australia/New Zealand and Western Star trucks exports to Australia. Daimler Trucks North America are producing the vehicles at its Swan Island facility in Portland.

“The Port is focused on giving our local shippers a variety of options to move their goods efficiently,” said Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland executive director. “Most importantly, this signals that T-6 is open for business. We very much appreciate the growing partnership we have with Swire.”

The new Swire service is benefiting from a $250,000 Strategic Reserve Fund investment, aimed at helping Oregon businesses bring their wares to a global market and aid Northwest shippers.

New Longview Marine Terminal Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Mark Price is Port of Longview’s new director of Marine Terminals.

Price, whose more than 20 years of Pacific Northwest waterfront experience includes managing Kinder Morgan’s operations in Portland, Vancouver and Longview, will be tasked with overseeing cargo operations at the port.

“Mark is an outstanding addition to our team,” said Port of Longview Chief Executive Officer Norm Krehbiel. “His experience and knowledge of Northwest ports provides valuable input to our operations and business development.”

Price will work with the port’s Business Development Department to elaborate marketing cargo strategies to broaden the port’s customer base and attract new maritime opportunities.

“The Port of Longview is an established leader in the cargo handling industry,” said Price. “I believe my proven track record in managing safe, environmentally sound and productive cargo operations will continue to add to the port’s successes.”

Oakland Truck Management

By Karen Robes Meeks

City and Port of Oakland officials are putting together a new West Oakland Truck Management Plan to address truck traffic concerns in the neighborhood.

The plan, due in the fall of 2018, will aim to move traffic away from homes bordering the port. Officials are hosting a series of five workshops in the area to gather comments.

“This will be a plan that relies on community input to address truck circulation and parking,” said Patricia McGowan, Senior Planner for the City of Oakland Planning and Building Department. “We want trucks to be less disruptive by controlling where they drive and park.”

Every day, about 3,000 trucks ferry cargo in and out of the port and most of that traffic stays on port roads and adjacent freeways, according to Richard Sinkoff, the Port’s Environmental Programs and Planning Director. Some, however, will head through the neighborhood when truckers need food, fuel or repairs. The plan will strengthen truck restrictions enforcement.

Leadership Award at San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nonprofit environmental group Ocean Connectors recently honored Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Robert “Dukie” Valderrama with its Leadership Award.

Valderrama was recognized for his outstanding service and dedication to the community of National City and for his environmental stewardship of San Diego Bay.

“The Port is committed to protecting the environment, including the wildlife of San Diego Bay and the tidelands,” said Chairman Valderrama. “This award demonstrates how seriously the Port takes that responsibility and I commend the Port’s staff for their progress with supporting environmental education."

The award was presented at the organization’s 10-year anniversary event honoring its founding funders, which included the port, key supporters and nonprofit partners.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ports Discuss Digital Links

By Karen Robes Meeks

International port leaders recently convened in Los Angeles as part of chainPORT, an effort to link ports digitally and make the supply chain more efficient.

Created in 2015, chainPORT is led by the Ports of Los Angeles and Hamburg Port Authority in Germany in partnership with the Global Institute of Logistics.

“Working together to explore best practices and innovation, as well as leading-edge technology to improve port operations is more important than ever in a global environment,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As a port, we need to continue to evolve and adapt to remain both competitive and relevant.”

The two-day meeting brought port leaders from Shanghai, Antwerp, Barcelona, Montreal, Felixstowe, Indonesia and Shenzhen. Seroka spoke about his port’s pilot program with GE Transportation to create a digital hub to provide shipping data in real time so those in the supply chain can better prepare to move cargo more efficiently.

The event featured presentations from chainPORT’s five working groups: Smart IT solutions; Implications & Solutions for Ultra Large Container Vessels; Digital Change within Port Authorities; Project chainLOG; and the Port Academy.

“Port operations are becoming more and more complex, and we strongly believe port authorities working together around the globe can add significant extra value to the global supply chain,” said Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority. “Collaboration in a global network of ports and digitization is the way of the future.”

Veterans First at Port of Seattle and Tacoma

By Karen Robes Meeks

Veterans looking for work will get first crack at jobs offered in the Puget Sound.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma are teaming up with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to participate in the Guardians of the Gateway Veterans Career Workshop.

Veterans can explore various jobs at the port and airport, from K-9, dive team, bomb disposal and marine patrol police teams to container terminal security officers.

Veterans can also hear from prospective employers about the application process, salaries and benefits, open positions and opportunities for career growth.

The free workshop will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on November 15 in the Beijing Room at the Conference Center at Sea-Tac International Airport, 17801 International Blvd. in SeaTac, Washington.

To register, visit https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eemwms8c019e90fc&oseq=&c=&ch

New Oakland Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Daria Edgerly was recently named secretary of the Port of Oakland Commissioners Board, its first woman and African American to serve in the role since the seven-member Board of Port Commissioners was created in 1927.

Edgerly, who had been acting board secretary, which involves running the office of the port's governing board, takes over for John Betterton, who retired after two decades in the position.

“I'm gratified that commissioners have given me this opportunity," Edgerly said. “And I'm pleased that women of color are given the opportunity to advance at the port.”

Edgerly is a native of Oakland who graduated from Cal State University, East Bay, and previously worked for the City of Oakland.

Everett Real Estate Deal

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett Commission has agreed to ink a $3.689 million purchase and sale agreement with Panattoni Development Co. for nearly 10 acres of the port’s 38-acre Riverside Business Park.

The real estate company will have 60 days to review and 30 days to close, according to the port.

"Panattoni is excited to be working with the Port and the City of Everett on another state-of-the-art industrial building. This project will be adding to our resume of over a dozen buildings in Snohomish County all of which were successful projects for us,” said Donnie Belk, Senior Development Manager with Panattoni. “We expect to be under construction at Riverside Business Park in the Spring of 2018 with delivery of the finished space by December 2018. We are calling our project Glacier Peak at Riverside Business Park."

According to the port, this land sale, paired with Latitude’s land lease and KW Projects purchase, will generate up to 400 direct jobs, and 2.8 additional local jobs for every position created, adding that all but two lots in the business park are under contract.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Los Angeles and Long Beach Clean Air Update

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have approved the latest version of the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update aimed at making the region air cleaner from port operations. The blueprint calls for initiatives such as:

• Establishing a rate structure and incentives to create quicker turnover to near-zero and “zero-emission” trucks to reach the goal of becoming a zero-emission on-road drayage fleet by 2035;

• Creating more cargo flow efficiency and lower emissions with programs such as a universal truck reservation system, staging yards and intelligent transportation systems;

• Mandating terminal operators to use zero-emission equipment or the cleanest equipment available when buying new cargo-handling equipment starting in 2020, to reach a 2030 zero emissions terminal equipment goal; and

• Using more on-dock rail, with the long-term goal of moving half of all departing cargo by rail.

“The San Pedro Bay ports are the driving forces of our region’s economy – and they should also be global models for sustainability and clean air,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This update to the Clean Air Action Plan is an important step toward our ambitious goal of zero emissions landside goods movement by 2035, and I look forward to making even more progress with our partners in the months and years to come.”

Everett Long-Term Lease Inked

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett has inked a long-term ground lease with Waterfront Place Retail, LLC, an entity associated with The Schuster Group, to build restaurants and retail in Fisherman’s Harbor at Waterfront Place. The deal is expected to bring millions of dollars annually to the local economy.

The lease includes five parcels between Seiner Drive and the Esplanade, two at the entry of Waterfront Place, and the Port Gardner Landing parcel.

"We're very excited to be a part of this landmark project for the Port of Everett,” President of The Schuster Group Holly Gardner said. “The Waterfront Place project fits within our focus on emerging markets and our wheelhouse of expertise. Perhaps most importantly, it aligns with our mission of creating distinctive, sustainable projects of enduring value."

Fisherman’s Harbor is the first phase of the 65-acre Waterfront Place Central mixed-use development, which will feature 266 apartment homes, a 142-room hotel with meeting and event space and nine retail and waterfront restaurant spaces.

The area will also feature the Esplanade waterside public trail, the Dock Walk, Seiner Wharf and the Pacific Rim Plaza.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-to-late 2019.

Vancouver, USA Commissioner Honored

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Vancouver USA Commission Brian Wolfe was recently honored by The Pacific Northwest Waterways Association with a Distinguished Service Award. Wolfe was chosen for his leadership and service to the industry.

“Each year, our association recognizes members and colleagues who have made significant contributions to the success of projects and issues that are important to the region,” said PNWA Executive Director Kristin Meira. “Brian Wolfe’s years of public service as an elected commissioner at the Port of Vancouver are to be commended and celebrated. We’re grateful for the active role he’s played and proud to honor him at our annual convention.”

Since his election in 2005, Wolfe has been an advocate for commerce, sustainable development and job creation at the port and the region.

He helped to establish the Columbia River Economic Development Council and was its board chair from 1983 through 1994. As a port commission, Wolfe’s leadership and vision was exercised on various capital projects that foster the growth of the local economy, including the 108-acre Centennial Industrial Park, $250 million West Vancouver Freight Access rail project (WVFA) and Terminal 1 waterfront development project.

Oakland Firm Makes Emissions Investment

By Karen Robes Meeks

Trucking and warehousing specialist Impact Transportation is the latest Port of Oakland freight-hauler making investments on emissions-clearing equipment.

The company recently announced plans to spend more than $1 million on cleaner cargo-handling equipment in the form of nine new forklifts and a yard tractor. The equipment will operate on either propane or diesel fuel, according to the company, which also plans to run its diesel-powered machines with Tier 4F engines.

“We comply with all local, state and federal regulations,” said Impact Transportation President Ron Cancilla. “But we’re also doing this for the health and safety of our employees, our closest Oakland neighbors and the entire Port community.”

The company alone handles more than 100,000 20-foot containers of cargo every year at Oakland.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Mexican Tall Ship Calls at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

To celebrate “The Year of Mexico in Los Angeles,” Mexican Navy tall ship Cuauhtémoc is coming to the Port of Los Angeles and will offer free tours for the next five days on a first-come, first-served basis.The historic ship and its crew of about 200 sailors will be at Berth 46. Built in Bilbao, Spain, in 1982, the Class A, three-masted barque was the first ship of its kind in Mexico and is based in Acapulco. Cuauhtémoc is 297 feet long, weighs 1,800 tons and carries 23 sails with up to a sail area of .6 acres.

Tours will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 3, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 4-7.

Parking is free at the Outer Harbor, located at 3011 Miner St. in San Pedro.

Port of Seattle Focus on Sustainability

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Seattle Commissioners moved forward on an Energy and Sustainability Motion that strengthens the port’s commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions, prioritizes sustainability and looks at new renewable energy sourcing opportunities.

“In addition to reducing the Port’s carbon emissions and working to reduce the competing demands on Washington’s hydropower system, these projects demonstrate how the port can lead efforts to reduce the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change on the environment and our quality of life,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who co-chairs the Port’s Energy and Sustainability Committee with Commissioner Courtney Gregoire.

"Today's action reinforces the Port of Seattle's commitment to sustainable economic growth and should encourage expanded innovation in green technology. From biofuels at Sea-Tac Airport to solar panels at Fishermen's Terminal, we look forward to strengthening partnerships to make our region a market leader in the green economy,” Commissioner Gregoire added.

Commissioners authorized port staff to create a Sustainability Evaluation Framework to help reach greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability goals by raising the transparency of project impacts; identify up to four pilot projects that incorporate “environmental and societal components in design and decision-making for Port construction and operations” (The solar project at Pier 69 could be the first pilot project to test the port’s new evaluation framework); and expand its carbon reduction emission goal to include indirect emissions with the goal to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050.

“The port knows that a more prosperous future is also a cleaner, more sustainable one,” said Vlad Gutman-Britten, Washington Director of Climate Solutions. “These policies put the Port of Seattle on a path towards environmental leadership that reflects the values of this region.”

Garibaldi Port Maintenance

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has deployed its staff to the Port of Garibaldi to dredge its marina and boat launch.

Annual maintenance dredging of navigational channels is conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which performs yearly dredging maintenance to keep shipping channels safe and navigable, but this year’s dredging doesn’t include launch ramps and marinas.

The work poses a financial hardship for smaller ports and has led to “significant amounts of shoaling within marinas along the entire Oregon Coast. The result of this shoaling jeopardizes the ability of commercial and recreational fishing fleets to moor, yielding catastrophic economic impacts,” according to the port.

In 2015, the state of Oregon bought The Laura, an Ellicot-360SL swing ladder suction dredge, to help in that effort and asked the Port of Coos Bay in late 2016 to operate and manage The Laura.

Last year, Port of Coos Bay staff went to the Port of Alsea to finish marina dredging. This year, they headed to the Port of Garibaldi, where vessels are currently sitting on bottom at low tide, preventing them from getting underway when the tide is out, according to the port.

“We are a small but growing port,” said Michael Saindon, Port of Garibaldi Manager. “Keeping the boat basin dredged is critical for the safety of all mariners and can make the difference to our many small business’ ability to be successful. With the help of the Port of Coos Bay and the state-owned dredge, we can keep the port dredged at a reasonable cost and not have to incur debt to keep the port running.”

The Port of Coos Bay staff is expected to return from the Port of Garibaldi on Dec. 21.

“We appreciate the staff’s willingness to spend time away from their homes and families for this project in order to ensure the strength and future of our sister ports,” said John Buckley, Charleston Marina Harbormaster.

Drone Rules Established at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Drone pilots must obtain a permit before taking off or landing in the Port of Long Beach Harbor District, according to new rules that went into effect last week.

Pilots have to get a permit from the port’s security division, which involves showing proof of insurance and registration information, plans for takeoff and landing and permission from port facilities where the drone would be flown.

Once pilots get their permits, the port will let its tenants know of drone usage plans by posting it on the website.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently approved the new rules as part of a recent tariff amendment in an effort to strengthen safety and security at the port.

“Our security, risk management, and commercial operations staff worked closely with the Long Beach City Attorney’s Office to develop a permitting process that focuses on the safe usage of drones in the Harbor District, within the allowable legal parameters of the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The approved rules, with requirements for insurance and notifications, should enhance our ability to maintain a safe environment for cargo operations in the port.”

Visit www.polb.com/drones for more.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Merced County, Port of Los Angeles to Collaborate

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Merced County Board of Supervisors has entered into an agreement with the Port of Los Angeles that will pave the way for business development opportunities in the Mid-California International Trade District at Castle Commerce Center and Castle Airport.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for Merced County,” said Daron McDaniel, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “This is a long-term vision and another step in our continued effort to develop Castle, but if we can make it happen, it has the potential to bring substantial economic activity and jobs to this County.”

The agreement, which will include the creation of a joint business development plan and an effort to conduct exporter outreach in the Central Valley, aims to develop Castle into a manufacturers’ hub and leverage their access to BNSF Railway and proximity to highways and the airport.

“We are honored and excited to enter into this agreement and strengthen our trade connection with Merced County, the Mid-California International Trade District and the greater Central Valley,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This MOA not only paves the way for collaboration, it will give Central Valley shippers more awareness, support and access to global markets through a broad network of high frequency shipping line services.”

Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports to Vote on Clean Air Action Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders for the nation’s two busiest seaports are expected to vote on Nov. 2 on the 2017 Update of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan.

The Harbor Commission for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will meet to consider approval of the update, which is expected to contain several initiatives that will curb emissions from port-related operations, including the implementation of programs that lower ship pollution and low-to-no emission cargo equipment and vehicles.

The joint meeting will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel, 601 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, 90731. The meeting also will be live-streamed at polb.com/webcast and at portoflosangeles.org.

Visit cleanairactionplan.org for more.

Everett Seeks Bids for Phase 2 Development

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett will seek bids for the construction of its South Terminal Modernization project, a $36 million second phase development that will strengthen the remaining 560-feet of the 700-foot South Terminal dock structure and upgrade the wharf’s electrical capabilities.

Paired with the double rail siding construction underway, the South Terminal project will enable the port to accommodate future over-dimensional cargo, including aerospace parts for the new 777X coming online in late-2018.

“This is a bold and momentous step toward the goal that the Port Commission set forward nearly two years ago to modernize its Seaport to support the industry shipping trends,” Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz said. “This is the largest capital project the Port has undertaken since the construction of Mount Baker Terminal in 2005.”

Construction is expected to begin in April 2018 and to be completed by December 2019.

Olympia Citizens Sought for Advisory Committee

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia Commission is in search of residents for its Port of Olympia Citizens Advisory Committee. Formed in 1994, the committee of nine to 12 residents will be tasked with addressing assignments that come from the commission, as well as take part in port programs and projects.

Applicants will be interviewed by the port commission president, the executive director and the committee chair, all of whom will recommend appointments to the commission in mid-December.

Candidates will be selected based on their community and economic development activities, their volunteer, board or committee experience, work experience, as well as their experience or knowledge of the port, in addition to their reasons for serving.

Application deadline is Nov. 13.

Visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/portofolympia for more.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Boat Still Aground Off Hawaii

By Karen Robes Meeks

U.S Coast Guard responders will re-evaluate plans to remove the grounded 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise off Waikiki after unsuccessful removal attempts to tow it away from a coral reef Friday.

“Salvage teams attempted various removal procedures on both on the bow and stern and although the vessel had movement during the process, it remains aground,” said Capt. Michael Long, commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and captain of the port. “Our Coast Guard teams will reassess with all our partners this weekend to prepare future removal plans. We understand the sense of urgency to remove this vessel from the reef and are working diligently to ensure this is done as quickly and as safely as possible.”

No marine mammals have been affected and all fuel tanks have been plugged but about 1,500 gallons of diesel is still on board. A safety zone 500 yards around the vessel is still in effect and the public should steer clear.

Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department crews rescued Pacific Paradise’s master and 19 fishermen after it ran aground off Diamond Head near Kaimana Beach, the cause of which is still being investigated.

Long Beach Explores More Asian Business

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum recently returned from a trip to South Korea and Japan to develop business opportunities for the Port of Long Beach.

Port Executive Director Mario Cordero and Chief Commercial Officer Noel Hacegaba accompanied Garcia and Bynum on the trip, which included stops in Seoul, Tokyo and Yokkaichi, one of Long Beach’s sister cities.

“With the recent changes in the shipping industry, this is a crucial time to meet face-to-face with our customers to expand business opportunities for the Port of Long Beach,” said Garcia. “These relationships are key to generating even more economic development in Long Beach.”

“Our business development outreach is one of the main reasons that the port is known for its customer service,” Bynum said. “Our customers deeply value these meetings. It’s important for us to reaffirm our commitment to being adaptable, nimble and responsive to industry concerns.”

Port of Everett Mixed Use

By Karen Robes Meeks

Everett officials earlier this month broke ground on a project that will reconnect the Grand Avenue bluff to Puget Sound with a pedestrian footbridge.

Set for completion in late 2018, the $15 million bridge project stemmed from the replacement of utility pipes that carried drainage and storm water, also allowing for a car-free path to the waterfront, according to the Port of Everett.

The bridge will enhance the port’s new mixed development on the waterfront, expected to be completed by summer 2019, which will feature a hotel, splash pad, and retail.

“The Port of Everett is in the midst of waterfront redevelopment creating a neighborhood down there, which is a mixed-use development of residential housing, restaurants, public access, spaces and so forth,” said Les Reardanz, executive director for the Port of Everett. “So the opportunity to have connectivity between the bluff and down to the waterfront will be great and enhance that neighborhood.”

Hueneme Teams to Ship Missionary Supplies

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme recently teamed up with ENCOUNTER Bible Fellowship Church of Ventura, Del Monte Fresh Produce, ILWU, Ports America, and LAMA to ship two containers full of donated goods to the La Montana Christian Camps in Costa Rica.

“At a time when disasters are hitting many parts of our world, we are proud that when we are called upon to support a humanitarian effort, the Port of Hueneme family of Commissioners, staff, stevedore companies, and longshoremen have all donated their time and labor to a mission supporting children in Costa Rica,” said Secretary of the Board of Harbor Commissioners Jess Herrera. “The Port of Hueneme is not only a bright spot in our economy, but a bright spot in humanitarian effort as well.”

Fernando Basua, a retired Longshoreman and a member of the ENCOUNTER Bible Fellowship Church Men’s Group, said he is happy everyone could come together to help.

“The containers will carry the refrigerators, bikes, loaders, and gators down there,” he said. “We approached Chuck (Caulkins, Del Monte terminal manager) for space on one of the ships and he was able to give us space for both of the containers. Then, we got Ports America to donate the loading for free, and ILWU 46 to use four of their labors for free as well. Everyone has really pitched in to make this all happen.”

The donated containers departed from the port Oct. 4 on the Star Pride V.38 and arrived in mid-October to Costa Rica.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Blue Economy Incubator for Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Real estate developer Morton La Kretz has inked an agreement with AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles to fund the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, which will focus on technology firms developing sustainable business models connected with the ocean.

“Creating a healthier, sustainable planet is the key focus of my philanthropic work,” said La Kretz, who also invested in the LA Cleantech Incubator’s downtown LA headquarters. “My first projects have been primarily about the land. With the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator at AltaSea, I can extend that reach to the oceans. The newest addition to AltaSea will attract the world-class leaders and promising companies that can leverage the opportunities our ocean presents for research, exploration and innovation.”

Businesses within the incubator will be able to use AltaSea’s 4,100 linear feet of pier access to deep water and interact with other incubator firms, AltaSea tenants and partner organizations, including the Southern California Marine Institute, which represents 23 Southern California oceanographic labs, aquaria and research universities.

“The Blue Economy Incubator is a crucial part of our broader vision to turn aging wharfs in the Port of Los Angeles into a vibrant, cutting-edge center for ocean-based science research, STEM education and sustainable business creation,” said AltaSea Executive Director Jenny Krusoe. “Morton La Kretz’s support is a vital endorsement of that vision. He knows how important it is to invest in our future, creating the research and education structure that can help make our Los Angeles and indeed our entire planet healthier and more sustainable.”

SSA Marine Takes Over Tacoma Terminal

By Karen Robes Meeks

SSA Marine has replaced APM Terminals for stevedoring and terminal services for Matson at The Northwest Seaport Alliance Tacoma terminal.

The alliance’s managing members recently authorized SAA Marine’s 10-year lease for the West Sitcum Terminal, which APM Terminals (APMT) operated since 1985 until it was announced in April that SSA Marine would be taking over by the end of the year.

“APMT has served us well,” said Ron Forest, senior vice president – operations for Matson in April. “It just makes more sense to work with our strategic partner at Tacoma as we do at all of our other terminals on the West Coast. We expect a seamless transition and no change in our Tacoma operations from a customer standpoint.”

Before the deal, West Sitcum was the only Matson terminal on the West Coast not managed by SSA Marine.

Stormwater Management at Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Vancouver USA showcased its innovation in stormwater management, including its employee-generated Grattix and stormwater bio-filtration facilities at StormCon, an annual conference that focuses on surface water quality.

This year, the conference took place in Bellevue, Washington.

Port Environmental Manager Matt Graves spoke about the Grattix and Terminal 2 stormwater bio-filtration facility, both built in 2009 to treat high copper and zinc levels in stormwater runoff.

“Both treatment systems have been tested regularly to see what types of metals they’re collecting and how the organic, locally sourced elements that comprise these systems hold up to the metals over time,” according to the port. “Those test results show that both the Grattix and stormwater bio-filtration facility had more detectable metals in their uppermost layers, meaning they were performing exceptionally well at capturing less-dense metals than other stormwater treatment systems.”

Port of Long Beach Seeks Grant Recipients

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach wants to hear from communities that could benefit from the next round of its Community Grants Program funding. The program seeks to improve the lives of those affected by port operations.

The port will host three public workshops this month to hear from stakeholders. The meetings will take place:

• 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at First Congregational Church, 241 Cedar Ave.

• 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Michelle Obama Library, 5870 Atlantic Ave.

• 10 to 11 a.m. Oct. 28 at Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st St.

“The Community Grants Program is designed to help those most impacted by port operations,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We’re off to a good start, but it’s important to get more input from our neighbors to make this the best program possible.”

The port used last year’s feedback to choose the nine air filtration projects the Harbor Commission agreed to fund on Monday.

Email grants@polb.com to RSVP for a workshop or submit comments.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Long Beach Port Clean Air

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach has funded nine air filtration projects totaling $743,631 to help improve the health of children, seniors and those communities affected by port operations.

Among those slated to receive the grants include:
  • City of Long Beach Multi-Service Center – $104,498
  • The Vasek Polak Children's Clinic Family Health Center – Long Beach – $5,859
  • • Compton Unified School District, Kelly Elementary – Compton – $74,477
  • Compton Unified School District, Roosevelt Elementary – Compton – $133,652
  • Compton Unified School District, Whaley Middle – Compton – $103,322
  • The Children's Clinic Family Health Center in Central Long Beach – $12,765
  • City of Paramount – Spane Park Learning Center – $4,549
  • Fairfield Family YMCA – Long Beach – $143,979
  • St. Lucy School – Long Beach – $160,530
“The selected projects will provide high-performance air filters and heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades at facilities most impacted by port operations,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We’ve made tremendous progress in reducing air pollution through our Green Port Policy, and these grants help us provide mitigation directly to our neighbors.”

The money comes from the $46.4 million Port Community Grants Program to curb the impacts of port operations on communities. Paired with the $18.2 million awarded from a prior program, the Long Beach port has invested $65 million toward this effort.

Los Angeles Port Rescue

By Karen Robes Meeks

Officers with the Los Angeles Port Police Marine Division recently rescued a man who was thrown off his boat near Angels Gate lighthouse, saving him and his boat from colliding into the breakwater, according to the Port of Los Angeles.

The incident took place on Columbus Day when officers responded to reports of a man overboard. After scanning the water briefly, they found the man and pulled him out of the water to safety. Then they raced after the runaway sailboat, maneuvering alongside it and jumping into the vessel to gain control of it, missing the breakwater.

The man was treated for hypothermia and his sailboat made it safely to the dock.

NW Seaport Alliance Fiscal Meetings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Beginning next week, the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s managing members will host two public meetings to examine the alliance’s 2018 fiscal plan.

The first meeting will take place on October 24 and will delve into the 2018 operating budget, 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan, and 2019-2022 financial forecast. A draft of the budget will be posted that day on the alliance’s website and hard copies will also be available at the meetings.

Members are expected to vote on the budget at the November 7 meeting.

The October 24 session will take place at 10 a.m. in the Beijing Room at The Conference Center at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 17801 International Boulevard in SeaTac, while the November 7 meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. in Room 104 of the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road in Tacoma.

Visit http://portal.veconnect.us/p/nwseaportalliance for more.

New Seattle Maritime Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Stephanie Jones Stebbins is the Port of Seattle’s new managing director of its Maritime Division.

Jones Stebbins will oversee the port’s Cruise Operations, Fishing and Commercial Operations, Recreational Marinas, Marine Maintenance, and Industrial Properties.

“Stephanie Jones Stebbins has proven herself a strategic and agile leader in moving policy priorities forward here at the Port of Seattle,” said Interim Executive Director Dave Soike. “She will bring these qualities to her new role as Maritime Director.”

For six years, Jones Stebbins has been the port’s director of Environmental and Planning Programs. Previously, she served as director of Seaport Environmental and manager of Seaport Strategic and Facility Planning.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vessel Aground Off Diamond Head

By Karen Robes Meeks

Crews on Sunday continued working to tow away the 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise grounded at a reef off Waikiki’s Kaimana Beach.

The operation hit a snag when fuel made contact with hot surfaces and caught fire. Salvage crews had to be evacuated and the Hawaii Fire Department put out the blaze.

About two-thirds of the fuel had been removed along with the marine batteries, leaving up to 1,500 gallons aboard prior to the release of about 200 gallons of diesel fuel, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Officials are asking the public to steer clear of the vessel and have placed a safety zone around the affected area.

Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department crews rescued Pacific Paradise’s master and 19 fishermen last week after it ran aground off Diamond Head near Kaimana Beach, the cause of which is still being investigated.

September Record for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its best September and its best quarter in cargo movement in history, according to the port’s latest numbers.

The nation’s second busiest seaport moved 701,619 TEUs in September, a 28.3 percent increase from the same period last year, and handled 2,114,306 TEUs in the third quarter.

“Simply put, we are having the best trade months in Port history,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Back-to-school merchandise was strong for us, and it looks like retailers are optimistic about the holiday season.”

The port also handled 366,298 TEUs in imports, rising 29.5 percent from September 2016, and 125,336 TEUs in exports, up 4.1 percent from a year ago.

About 209,985 TEUs in empty containers were also hauled, a 46.4 percent jump from last year.

Hanjin’s bankruptcy last year factored into the large spike in last month’s cargo, the port said.

“Our continuing recovery is due to our best-in-the-industry customer service, and the best terminals and infrastructure in the nation for shippers who need to rapidly transport cargo,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We’re expecting to have great numbers right through the end of the year and challenge 2007 for our highest annual container volume in history.”

Solar Panel Manufacturing Brings New Jobs to Bellingham

By Karen Robes Meeks

Itek Energy recently celebrated its new 48,000-square-foot solar panel manufacturing facility on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront, according to the Port of Bellingham.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which took place earlier this month, highlighted the $6 million project to turn a former pulp and tissue warehouse Itek bought from the port last year into a new plant.

Itek, which began production in 2011 in the Irongate neighborhood, will add about 30 more jobs to its current operations for a total of 125 positions based in downtown Bellingham.

“Itek Energy is a tremendous local success story,” said Port Commission President Dan Robbins. “The Port sold property to Itek to stimulate job growth and it’s wonderful to see all of the construction jobs this project is creating as well as new manufacturing opportunities for Whatcom County residents.”

Itek Founder and CEO John Flanagan said his company now has the capacity to generate up to 200 megawatts of highly efficient panels annually.

“Solar panel manufacturing has never been done to this scale in the State of Washington,” he said.

He also spoke of the product’s potential market growth.

“The US solar market had its biggest year ever in 2016, and is projected to nearly triple in size over the next five years,” said Flanagan.

Volumes Up at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles processed 763,785 TEUs last month, making it third-largest September for cargo volumes.

Trade policy changes affecting waste paper exports to China resulted in the 15.45 percent jump in empty containers in Los Angeles, pushing up last month’s overall volumes, according to the port.

Loaded imports dipped .07 percent to 388,670 TEUs year over year, and loaded exports were down 3.17 percent to 517,116 TEUs. With empty containers factored, the port saw a 2.15 percent increase in overall volumes year over year.

The Los Angeles seaport last month also received a record 88 vessel visits with an average TEU count of 8,679 per vessel, a 22 percent jump from the TEU-per-vessel average of September 2016.

“As we enter the final quarter of 2017, we’re pleased to be tracking toward record volumes for a Western Hemisphere port,” said Port of Los Angeles Director Gene Seroka. “We continue to demonstrate the LA Advantage to cargo owners, with a strong focus on meeting big-ship needs, developing world-class infrastructure, and delivering extraordinary customer service through innovation and efficiency.”

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 RCCRO@lbtransit.com.

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 www.portofeverett.com/commissionappointment2017.

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 http://sfport.com/waterfront-plan-update 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 https://www.foreigntradeassociation.com/events 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.”