Friday, May 19, 2017

New Electric Crane Debuts at POLA

By Mark Edward Nero

SA Recycling, Southern California’s largest recycling operation and exporter of scrap metal, unveiled a new electric mobile crane at its Port of Los Angeles terminal this week.

A live demonstration of the crane was held during the May 15 event, which was attended by numerous port officials, as well as various public officials, or their designated representatives, including members of the state Assembly and US House of Representatives.

The $6.3 million Liebherr 550 electric crane replaces a model year 1987 diesel ship-loading crane, and is the port complex’s first electric mobile ship-loading crane for non-container cargos. The crane was acquired in part through a $1.3 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, as part of efforts between the Port of LA and its customers to transition to cleaner equipment.

The port has said the crane is expected to eliminate 74 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), three tons of particulate matter (PM), three tons of hydrocarbons (HC) and 14 tons of carbon monoxide (CO) over the life of the equipment.

Foss Maritime Hires New Vice President

By Mark Edward Nero

Foss Maritime has brought on Grant Johnson as the company’s new Vice President of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment (HSQE), the company announced May 15. Johnson will be responsible for overseeing, growing and strengthening HSQE performance in support of Foss’ culture of safety.

Johnson comes to Foss from TechnipFMC, a Houston-based international energy services provider, where he served in various capacities including Director of Worldwide Fleet Management, Asset Technical Director, and most recently as manager of the company’s contract with Texas-based Marine Well Containment Co.

Before joining TechnipFMC, Johnson held various positions with BP’s Alaskan, Shipping and US Gulf of Mexico businesses. He began his career working as a US Coast Guard licensed engineering officer aboard commercial, military sealift and government vessels in domestic and international trade.

“We were impressed by Grant’s keen personal interest in providing improved safety for people and the environment, as evident in his work throughout the maritime industry,” Foss President and CEO John Parrott explained in a statement. “His experience, expertise and working knowledge are just what we need.”

Johnson is also an active participant in industry committees and working groups, including currently serving as Vice-Chairman of the Coast Guard’s National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee and previously serving as Co-Chair of the Offshore Operators Committee’s Marine Transportation and Security Committee.

He graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering, holds an MBA from Rice University, and served 20 years in the US Navy Reserve, achieving the rank of commander.

Oakland Port Begins Raising Height of Ship-to-Shore Cranes

By Mark Edward Nero

Work has begun at the Port of Oakland to heighten four massive ship-to-shore cranes used to load and unload container vessels.

On May 15, the port confirmed that the 366-foot cranes would be raised 27 feet over the course of a nine-month project. Oakland has said taller cranes will be better able to reach containers stacked high above decks on modern-day megaships.

“This is a commitment to the future of shipping in Oakland,” John Driscoll, the port’s maritime director, said. “Vessels are getting bigger and bigger and we’re providing the infrastructure to keep them coming our way.”

The port is raising the cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal in partnership with terminal operator SSA Marine. The cost of the project is estimated at $14 million.

The port also said that crane-raising is part of an overall effort to strengthen Oakland’s competitiveness among West Coast ports. Other projects underway or expected to begin soon include doubling the size of nearby TraPac marine terminal, building a 287,000-square foot refrigerated cargo transport, and developing the first 27 acres of a seaport logistics complex that could attract additional imports and exports.

Last week, technicians began the work by pulling the first three-million-pound unit off its guide rails. In a 90-minute procedure, it was shuttled to the eastern edge of OICT’s Oakland Estuary dock, which is where the rest of the work is expected to take place, starting in June.

Over a nine-week period, engineers will brace the crane on supports, cut away its lower legs and affix extensions. They will then return the heightened crane to duty before withdrawing the next one, probably in August according to the port.

POLA, GE Launch Digital Maritime Shipping Project

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Los Angeles and GE Transportation are launching, on a trial basis, a platform that digitizes maritime shipping data and makes it available to cargo owners and supply chain operators through secure, channeled access.

The digital solution has launched on a pilot basis at APM Terminals with Maersk Shipping Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. Also, major retailers such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s, among others, are participating in the project. “It promises to provide not only advanced visibility but a collaborative view of data for all the stakeholders across the ocean supply chain,” the statement read.

Initial performance results are expected in July.

“By working together to share data in a secure and controlled environment, we have already seen the potential for tremendous benefits for importers, truckers, shipping lines, terminals, chassis providers and the entire supply chain,” Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “Greater insight leads to better planning and lower cost, all of which have a direct impact on every company that is involved in international trade.”

“Our work with the Port of Los Angeles has the potential to transform how ports across the country, and even the world, operate, driving productivity from ship to shore and from the terminal to the customer,” said Jamie Miller, GE Transportation president and CEO. “It’s an honor to partner together on a game-changing solution that could have industry wide implications.”

GE has posted a six-minute video on YouTube regarding the project. It shows how disparate data sources are being integrated from players across the supply chain to create a single source of information for the entire shipping process., It highlights how port operators are working with the Port of LA by sharing information that provides early cargo visibility which brings increased efficiency into how cargo moves into, within and out of the port at all levels from shippers, terminal operators, trucks to railroads. The video -is available at Ongoing updates about the pilot are available at

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pasha Hawaii Selects Builder for New Containerships

By Mark Edward Nero

On May 11, 2017, Honolulu-based Pasha Hawaii announced the selection of Texas-based Keppel AmFELS, a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, for the construction of two new liquefied natural gas-fueled containerships, with the option to order two additional vessels.

The new US Jones Act vessels will carry 2,525 TEUs, including a fully laden capacity of 500 45-foot containers, 400 refrigerated containers, and 300 40-foot dry containers, with a sailing speed of 23.0 knots. Delivery of the first vessel is expected in the first quarter of 2020, with delivery of the second vessel in the third quarter of 2020.

Pasha confirmed that the new vessels will operate fully on LNG from day one in service, which should dramatically reduce environmental impact and increase fuel efficiency. Energy savings will also to be achieved with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form, and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller.

“We look forward to working with an extremely qualified shipyard, based in the United States,” company President and CEO George Pasha, IV said. “Pasha Hawaii is a firm believer in the Jones Act, and is proud to support our shipyards and the highly skilled workers who make valuable contributions to this important industry on a daily basis.”

Pasha Hawaii is a wholly owned subsidiary of the family-owned global logistics and transportation company, the Pasha Group, one of the nation’s leading Jones Act shipping and integrated logistics companies.

2,900 Gallons of Oily Water Removed from Oregon Barge

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Coast Guard oversaw the removal of nearly 3,000 gallons of oily water from the bilges of a 1940s-era crane barge during a response last weekend at a site on the banks of the Columbia River near Goble, the USCG revealed May 15.

The removal of the oily water from the Amazon, a 170-foot crane barge, was a preemptive measure taken to prevent possible environmental damage to the Columbia River at a site currently being monitored by the Coast Guard and the Oregon Departments of Environmental Quality and State Lands.

Personnel from the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Incident Management Division opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to remove the oily water upon a recommendation from the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team during a site assessment and hazard categorization visit on May 9 and 10.

Contractors pumped out 1,800 gallons of the oily-water mixture on May 12 and another 1,100 gallons on May 13 from bilges, ballast tanks, fuel tanks, aft and forward spaces, and above and below deck plates.

“The initial purpose of our site visit was to assess the need for future operations, however, it was quickly determined the Amazon posed a substantial threat of an oil discharge and required immediate action,” USCG Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Madjeska, chief, Incident Management Division Sector Columbia River, explained. “The vessel is in very poor material condition, and is slowly taking on water through open hatches.”

The barge Amazon is one of 26 vessels currently being assessed and monitored during the eviction process of Clay Jonak and Roger Ison, who lease the site on the Columbia from the Oregon Department of State Lands. The agency informed the two men of the lease termination in March. They have until May 30 to safely remove their property from the site.

The Coast Guard will oversee the cleanup of any remaining oil or hazardous material left on site after May 30.

Port of Oakland Seeing More Cargo, But Fewer Ships

By Mark Edward Nero

A shipping industry trend toward bigger, more efficient container vessels is paying off at the Port of Oakland.

The port’s 2017 container volume through April was up 2.8 percent over last year, while at the same time, the number of vessels arriving was down 5.6 percent, according to data released by the port on May 12. Numbers also show 539 ships visiting Oakland in the first four months of 2017, compared to 571 calls during the same period in 2016.

The upshot is that fewer but larger ships are carrying more cargo to Oakland, easing dock crowding while reducing vessel emissions.

“Shipping lines have moved to larger vessels to consolidate cargo and cut costs,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll explained. “We’re the beneficiaries because we can handle volume growth efficiently and sustainably.”

The reduction not only meant fewer diesel emissions from ships heading in or out of port, but also less demand for berthing space, which is a hot commodity in Oakland.

The average-size vessel visiting Oakland now has the capacity to carry more than 8,000 20-foot containers, up from 5,000 TEUs three years ago. Ships with capacity for 14,000 containers – the largest in North America – call Oakland weekly, according to the port.

Containerized import volume in Oakland increased 3.5 percent from January through April, while export volume was up three percent, according to port data.

Free Boat Tours Offered at POLA this Weekend

By Mark Edward Nero

In celebration of World Trade Week, the Port of Los Angeles is offering free public boat tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20. Tours will depart every 30 minutes from the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro, and from Banning’s Landing Community in Wilmington.

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is located at 600 Sampson Way, Berth 84, in San Pedro. Banning’s Landing Community Center can be found at 100 E. Water St. in Wilmington. Boats at both locations are wheelchair accessible and have restrooms on board.

The Port of LA has offered free World Trade Week tours to the public for over 20 years. This year’s tours are an hour long, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations are needed.

“World Trade Week is a great opportunity to welcome our local residents and visitors to the waterfront for a spectacular view of the nation’s busiest port in action,” POLA Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement.

World Trade Week, which coincides with World Trade Month, is a unique program dedicated to educating the public about the importance and benefits of global trade to the local and U.S. economy. Related events and programs are held throughout Southern California every May.