Friday, July 14, 2017

Long Beach Container Volumes Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its second-best June in history, moving 658,727 TEUs this month for a growth of 9 percent year over year, according to the port’s latest numbers.

The nation’s second-busiest seaport finished a strong second quarter with nearly 1.9 million TEUs, an 8.3 percent jump from the same time last year.

In 2017 thus far, nearly 3.5 million TEUs flowed through Long Beach, a 5.1 percent increase compared to the first six months of 2016.

“These are good results as we move into the busiest trade months of the year,” said Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. “The US dollar remains strong and retailers are stocking back-to-school merchandise and other goods American consumers are purchasing.”

The port moved 335,328 TEUs of imported cargo last month, up 7 percent from June 2016, while handling 118,304 TEUs of exports, 7.7 percent fewer containers the same time a year ago. Meanwhile, empty containers, which are shipped overseas to be replenished with goods, spiked 26.8 percent, to 205,095 TEUs.

“Our customers know we work hard to efficiently deliver their cargo,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “It's good to see this evidence of their confidence in our Port — we are committed to providing the absolute best service in the country.”

Oakland Import Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland this week boasted best-ever import numbers for June, surpassing a record June set 11 years ago, according to the port’s most recent statistics.

The Northern California port moved 80,253 TEUs in imports last month, about a 5 percent increase from June 2016, when it handled 76,368 TEUs. Last month’s numbers beat a June 2006 record of 78,326 TEUs.

“As we near autumn, retailers begin stocking up for the holidays,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Healthy volumes now might be a preview of what we can expect for peak season.”

Meanwhile, the port moved 75,460 TEUs of exports, a 2.4 percent increase from 73,676 TEUs.

The port moved 204,255 in total cargo volume last month, a 5.1 percent increase from June 2016. The total number includes imports, exports and empty containers.

Everett Seeks Marina’s Assets

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett is in the midst of trying to acquire assets related to Marina Village.

The port is in talks with Everett Marina Partners, LLC on a ground lease termination and acquisition agreement, after the commission on June 6 authorized CEO Les Reardanz to negotiate with Everett Marina.

When completed, the agreement would allow the port to take command of the Everett Marina’s assets, which include five buildings, nine leases and about 210 parking spaces.

The port would also pay Everett Marina Partners “the value based on the projected income for the fair market value on the remainder of the lease,” which was originally set to expire in 2032.

Located within the Port of Everett’s South Marina District of Waterfront Place, Marina Village was developed in 1982 with a 50-year ground lease with Diversified Marina Enterprises, which later evolved as Everett Marina Partners.

The site features a mix of retail and offices uses, including restaurants such as Anthony’s Homeport, Anthony’s Woodfire Grill and Moon Tree Asian Tapas.

“This project is another good example of strategic investments being made throughout the Port on behalf of the District to strengthen the local economy, enhance the area’s regional identity, and preserve and create jobs while at the same time creating a highly desirable, destination waterfront community within the Waterfront Place neighborhood,” Chief of Business Development Terrie Battuello said. “The high-quality tenants at Marina Village will benefit moving forward from being closely integrated into the Port’s overall vision for this destination facility.”

San Diego Pilot Projects

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego will be funding four pilot projects aimed at developing local businesses focused on aquaculture and blue technology.

The port commission on June 20 authorized agreements with:

• San Diego Bay Aquaculture for a five-year project to develop shellfish aquaculture nursery operations and to operate a floating upweller nursery system in San Diego Bay with $351,600 from the port;

• Red Lion Chem Tech for a one-year pilot project to get rid of dissolved copper in seawater using filtration technologies with $165,000 in port funds;

• RentUnder for a two-year demonstration of Drive-in Boatwash, which would allow for in-water boat hull cleaning while lowering copper dissolved into the bay. The company would use the port’s $140,000 to fabricate and install the boatwash; and

• Swell Advantage, which would be funded $100,000 on developing smart marina software.

The four agreements stem from the Port’s Blue Economy incubator, which was created in 2016.

“The Port is a long-time champion and catalyst of our water-dependent economy,” said Port Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, one of the City of San Diego’s three representatives on the Board. “The Blue Economy incubator will assist in piloting new technologies and attracting innovative tenants who can deliver multiple benefits to the entire Port community such as fisheries enhancement, ecosystem restoration, water quality improvement, environmental monitoring, and education and outreach.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Los Angeles Fruit Terminal Lease Extended

By Karen Robes Meeks

Marine terminal SSA Pacific, Inc. will continue to be the West Coast home for imported Chilean fruit, thanks to a five-year lease extension with the Port of Los Angeles.

The extension, which runs through October 31, 2022, shouldbe finalized by the Los Angeles City Council in the coming months.

“The Port of Los Angeles is proud to be the West Coast gateway for Chilean fruit,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re pleased to renew our commitment to this important market and our longstanding trade partners in Chile.”

Since 1988, SSA Pacific has operated the 14-acre break bulk terminal at Berths 53-55 exclusively handling imported Chilean fruit for more than 10 years.

“SSA Marine is pleased to continue the partnership with the Port of Los Angeles and provide a long term home for the importation of high quality Chilean fruit,” said William Fitz, Regional Vice President of SSA Marine.

Producers rely on the terminal to send avocados, grapes, peaches, nectarines and other Chilean produce to West Coast consumers, reaching as far as West Texas.

Last season, the port handled more than 82,000 metric tons of Chilean fresh fruit, nearly one-fifth of all fruits and vegetables imported through Los Angeles..

Long Beach Wins Seaport Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the third time in a row, the Port of Long Beach won Best North American Seaport at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards. The nation’s second busiest seaport has won the honor, awarded by Asia Cargo News and previously CargoNews Asia, 19 times over the last 22 years. “The Port of Long Beach is building the most modern facilities of any seaport in the country,” said Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. “It’s part of our commitment to evolve with this changing industry, and we’re thankful our stakeholders have decided to give us this prestigious award.”

The honor, which was announced at the awards event June 29 in Singapore, is given by supply chain professionals and industry observers and is judged on several factors, including service quality, innovation, customer relations and reliability.

More than 15,000 Asia Cargo News readers were asked to take part in the nomination and selection process.

“We take a lot of pride in working hard to meet the needs of our customers,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “It’s an honor to be recognized – we are especially proud of our commitment to providing the best service on the continent.”

Port of Bellingham Audit Completed

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Washington State Auditor’s Office has given the Port of Bellingham a financial clean bill of health in its 2016 Port audit. The state auditor’s office, which annually reviews public agencies to ensure proper spending of tax dollars, found no deficiencies in the port’s financial records.

Port Finance Director Tamara Sobjack is happy with the results.

“The Port is dedicated to responsible and transparent financial management and the results of the audit reflect those values,” she said. “Our employees take great pride in working for a fiscally responsible municipal government. Maintaining accurate financial records is a core function of all Port operations and activities.”

About $23.3 million in operations revenue and more than $7 million in taxes were collected by the port in 2016. The facility also spent $23.4 million on capital assets and boosted net assets by more than $19 million.

More Fords for Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Officials at Ford Motor Co., Auto Warehousing Co. and the Port of Portland recently celebrated the opening of a new 18.9-acre storage and staging yard near Terminal 6.

The lot, whichcan accommodate roughly 3,000 vehicles, features energy efficient LED lighting and porous pavement to minimize stormwater runoff.

The $7 million lot expansion, which was made possible in part by a $2.6 million ConnectOregon grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation, allows the port to meet its growing auto export numbers.

Last year, the port handled nearly 291,000 vehicles in both imports and exports including more than 50,000 vehicles that moved through Terminal 6, an 11 percent jump from the previous year.

Many Ford vehicles are exported through Portland’s Terminal 6 to Asian destinations such as China, Philippines and South Korea.