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Friday, January 13, 2017

LA-LB Ports Hosting Joint Clean Air Plan Workshop

By Mark Edward Nero

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach say they’ll hold a joint community workshop on Jan. 24 to gather input on strategies released late last year to update their Clean Air Action Plan, or CAAP.

The community workshop is planned for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St. in Wilmington. The workshop’s open to the public.

The Clean Air Action Plan, adopted in 2006, has dramatically reduced pollution from maritime-related sources that operate in and around the ports. Programs implemented under the CAAP have reduced diesel particulate matter up to 84 percent, cut nitrogen oxides in half, eliminated 97 percent of sulfur oxides and lowered greenhouse gases an average of 12 percent, according to data from the ports.

During the same time period that emissions were falling, container volume increased by seven percent, port data shows.

In November 2016, Harbor Commissioners from both ports met to unveil the draft CAAP 2017 Discussion Document, which details proposed new strategies to further clean the air and reduce greenhouse gases. Strategies include aggressively deploying zero and near-zero emission trucks and cargo-handling equipment and expanding programs that reduce ship emissions.

The draft CAAP 2017 Discussion Document is available at www.polb.com, www.portoflosangeles.org and www.cleanairactionplan.org. The public review period for the document extends through Feb. 17. Written comments may be submitted to caap@cleanairactionplan.org. Those interested in the process can register on the CAAP website to receive the latest information and meeting notices.

POLA Sets Annual Cargo Volume Record

By Mark Edward Nero

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles reached 8.85 million TEUs in 2016, making it the busiest cargo year ever for a port in North America, according to POLA data.

The previous record was set in 2006, when the Port of LA handled 8.46 million TEUs.

“We’re breaking records because we understand the importance of innovating and collaborating to move our economy forward,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “We have seen incredible progress over the last two years.”

The port finished last year strong, with December 2016 recorded volumes of 796,536 TEUs, a 27 percent increase compared to the same month the previous December. The port says it was the busiest December and fourth quarter in its 110-year history. Overall in 2016, cargo increased 8.5 percent compared to 2015.

“To handle this much volume with minimal issues is an extraordinary accomplishment and demonstrates our capability-building efforts here in the San Pedro Bay complex,” Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said.

December imports jumped 22.6 percent to 394,217 TEUs, and exports rose 25.6 percent to 164,900 TEUs, according to data. Along with a 23.5 percent rise in empty containers, the port’s overall December container volumes were 796,536 TEUs.

Current and past data container counts for the Port of Los Angeles may be found at http://www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp

BC Ferries Receives 1st LNG-Fueled Vessel

By Mark Edward Nero

Salish Orca, the first of three new vessels built for BC Ferries, has arrived in British Columbia. The vessel reached BC waters the morning of Jan. 11 after a 50-day 10,440 nautical-mile journey from Gdansk, Poland.

“This is a very exciting day for all of us at BC Ferries as we proudly welcome this beautiful ship, Salish Orca, home to British Columbia and into our fleet,” Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO, said.

The vessel is expected to be officially handed over to BC Ferries after it clears Canadian Customs and final inspections are complete.

Over the next couple of months, BC Ferries says crews will be trained and familiarized in the operation of the new state-of-the-art ship.

After public open houses in Powell River and Comox, Salish Orca is expected to start service on that route this coming spring. The Salish Class vessels are BC Ferries’ first natural gas-fueled ferries. Using natural gas as the primary fuel source is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 25 percent, reduce sulphur oxides (SOx) by over 85 percent, reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) by over 50 percent, and nearly eliminate particulate matter, according to the company.

“The Salish Class vessels will provide us cost savings and efficiencies with standardized vessels and greater interoperability as well as enhance safety well into the future. BC Ferries President and CEO Mike Corrigan said. “They are very well built ships, which will serve our customers for many years to come.”

The vessels, which will be able to ferry up to 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew, feature two car decks and have a service speed of 15.5 knots. Each will be powered by three Wartsila 8L20DF engines. Gross tonnage of each ship is 8,728 tons. Salish Orca’s sister ships, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, are expected to arrive in British Columbia this spring and start service in the Southern Gulf Islands later this year.

Parrott Installed as Foss CEO

By Mark Edward Nero

John Parrott has assumed the role of President and CEO of Foss Maritime. The company states that he took over on Jan. 1, following a four-month transition Foss announced in July 2016. Parrott joined Foss in January 2016 as Chief Operating Officer; in August 2016 he assumed the role of President from retiring President and CEO Paul Stevens.

“It’s a great honor to lead Foss and work with the talented and dedicated maritime professionals that make it such an amazing company,” Parrott said in a statement. “We have an exciting road ahead of us.”

As COO, Parrott completed a “listening tour” in early 2016, which included visiting Foss employees at work throughout the company. He visited with mariners on workboats in the Gulf of Alaska, California, Hawaii and Washington and craftspeople building and repairing ships at Foss’ Seattle and Rainier, Oregon shipyards.

Foss has stated that Parrot begins 2017 with a focus on enhancing communication and efficiency within the 127-year-old company. “We’re fortunate to have such experienced maritime professionals and leaders within our companies,” said Tim Engle, President of Foss’ parent company, Saltchuk. “I am truly excited to see John lead Foss as it continues to innovate and deliver on its promise of safe, reliable service to our customers.”

Upon retirement from Foss, Stevens transitioned to a new role at Saltchuk’s corporate home office. As Senior Vice President and Managing Director, he’s expected to support various strategic initiatives currently underway and help support Saltchuk’s growth activities.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Study: LA-LB Harbor Ecosystem Dramatically Improved

By Mark Edward Nero

Years of efforts to reduce environmental impacts related to goods movement have resulted in a flourishing ecosystem for fish and marine mammals, the latest report on the water and habitat quality of the Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors has found.

The ports and resource agencies that oversee wildlife in the harbors use the survey results to evaluate progress in improving the health of the natural resources under their stewardship.

The newest survey, conducted in 2013 and 2014 through an ongoing partnership between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, identified 558 species of plants and animals living on the rocks and pilings in the harbors. This represents a 60 percent increase from the last survey in 2008 and almost twice the number cataloged in the 2000 survey.

“There’s growing biodiversity in the harbors, including more birds and marine mammals, and we’re seeing species that cannot thrive in polluted waters,” Board of Harbor Commissioners President Lori Ann Guzm├ín said in a Jan. 9 statement. “We should all be proud of these results and continue to work hard to build on this progress.”

Water quality conditions also improved according to the study, with oxygen and phytoplankton measurements higher than ever. Fish were abundant, and giant kelp beds expanded to cover as much as 132 acres of Outer Harbor waters; maximum kelp coverage reached only 27 acres in 2000 and 80 acres in 2008.

The final report and fact sheet for the Biological Harbor Survey are both available on the Port of Long Beach’s website.

Tacoma Port Handles Largest Auto Discharge in Its History

By Mark Edward Nero

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which is the maritime operations operating agreement between the Seattle and Tacoma seaports, says that it unloaded over 4,800 vehicles off the Glovis Composer upon its arrival in Tacoma on Jan. 9.

The Glovis Composer, a Hong Kong-flagged roll-on/roll-off auto vessel is berthing at Terminal 7 in Tacoma during its stay.

At 656 feet (200 meters) long and 106 feet (32 meters) wide, the ship has a total capacity to transport 6,400 vehicles. During this call, the South Harbor is receiving 4,818 vehicles in addition to six high and heavy cargoes, making this the single-largest auto discharge off a vessel in the Port of Tacoma’s history.

In 2016, discharges from this same vessel averaged around 1,825 cars.

The vehicles are scheduled to be transported throughout the country and reach as far east as Chicago and Ohio. The Glovis Composer is expected to depart for a return trip to South Korea on the night of Jan. 10.

Vancouver USA Close to Picking New CEO

By Mark Edward Nero

The public is invited to attend an open house to meet and talk with the three finalists for the position of CEO of the Port of Vancouver USA during a public open house set for 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Jan. 19 at the port’s administrative offices, 3103 NW Lower River Road, Vancouver.

The three candidates are:

• Edward Galligan is a port industry professional with 27 years of experience, including 15 years with the Port of Portland, Oregon, and more than a decade in his current role as Executive Director of the Port of Olympia, Washington. Prior to joining the port industry, Galligan worked for nearly 20 years in telecommunications, holding leadership roles in executive and financial services.

• Julianna Marler, the Port of Vancouver’s interim CEO, has more than 17 years of public sector experience, including nine years with the City of Vancouver. Her diverse professional background includes logistics, sales, procurement and contracts, and leadership in finance and administration. She joined the Port of Vancouver in 2008, was promoted to Chief Financial and Administrative Officer in 2012, and in May 2016 was appointed interim CEO by the port’s Board of Commissioners after the departure of former CEO Todd Coleman.

• Arthur Scheunemann has held leadership positions in government, non-profits and corporations, including Managing Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Market Development Division and President and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County. Scheunemann’s extensive and diverse experience includes logistics, business development, operations and fiscal management.

The port’s Board of Commissioners is expected to hold a special executive session on Jan. 20 to evaluate the applicants’ qualifications. No decisions will be made during the executive session.

The board will also discuss the candidates during its next regularly scheduled public meeting, set for Jan. 24, and could take a vote during that meeting.

The three are vying to replace ex-CEO Todd Coleman, who left the position in May 2016 after four years in the position. Since his departure, CFO Julianna Marler has served as the port’s interim CEO. The port has said it hopes to bring a permanent CEO on board by March.

Port of Oakland Sets Annual Cargo Record

By Mark Edward Nero

Loaded shipping container volume reached an all-time high at the Port of Oakland in 2016, according to data released by the port Jan. 9.

Oakland reported that it handled the equivalent of 1.83 million loaded 20-foot containers in calendar year 2016, which represented a 7.6 percent increase from 2015, and topped the previous record of 1.82 million TEUs, which was set in 2013.

The port attributed the milestone to a year-long containerized export boom as well as growth in imports. Oakland said the record is important for two primary reasons:

• Loaded container volume is a key measure used to calculate fees paid by Oakland’s marine terminal tenants.

• Increased volume means the port gained, instead of lost business in 2016, even though it consolidated five terminals into four.

The port said its total 2016 volume – full and empty containers combined – equaled 2.37 million TEUs, up four percent from 2015.

Oakland’s containerized export volume jumped 10.5 percent in 2016, the port said.

In December, exports were up 13.5 percent, making it the fourth straight month of double-digit export growth, according to part data.

Oakland import volume increased 4.7 percent last year, the port said, with December imports up 6.1 percent. Exports accounted for 52 percent of Oakland’s loaded container volume in 2016. Imports accounted for the rest.

The gains came despite Ports America Terminals closing its Port of Oakland location at the Outer Harbor terminal last March. Ports America terminated its 50-year Oakland lease and filed for bankruptcy early in the first quarter of 2016.