Friday, July 21, 2017

LA Port Sets Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has set a new annual record for most container throughput by a Western Hemisphere port, ending its 12-month fiscal year with more than 9.2 million TEUs in overall cargo.

According to latest statistics released this week, the nation’s busiest seaport handled 9,205,755 TEUs from the fiscal year that took place from July 1, 2016, to June 30.

“As we mark the mid-point of 2017, we are grateful to our terminal operators, shipping lines, labor force and land-side supply chain stakeholders for their focus on teamwork and efficiency, because they are the reason why we attained record-breaking volumes these past 12 months,” said Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka. “Despite unprecedented change in our industry, we are demonstrating the LA Advantage in terms of world-class infrastructure, competitive pricing and extraordinary customer service.”

Last month, 731,032 TEUs moved through the Los Angeles port, an 8.1 percent increase from June 2016, making it the port’s second busiest June ever.

The port handled 372,272 TEUs in imports in June, 4.7 percent rise from the same time last year. Exports in June also grew 3.5 percent to 145,527 TEUs when compared to June 2016.

New San Diego Boat Launch

By Karen Robes Meeks

The City of Coronado and the Port of San Diego this week celebrated the completion of the Glorietta Bay Boat Launch Ramp and Dock C Replacement, a significant public access project.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests received demonstrations of boats launching from the new ramp and rode boats to Dock C, which underwent enhancements updated with today’s fire, electrical and ADA requirements.

The project, which began in February, was made possible with funds from the city, the port and the Division of Boating & Waterways. The port contributed $470,000, while the Division of Boating & Waterways gave $670,000.

Coronado, which contributed $150,000, oversaw the $1.3 million project to replace the concrete apron of the boat launch ramp, rebuild and expand the adjacent boarding dock that can accommodate those with disabilities and build a non-motorized craft launch area on a new sandy beach, according to the port.

Boat launch facility improvements also include resurfacing its parking lot, putting in a new boat wash-down area and fixing a small area of riprap and storm drain in the northern beach area of Glorietta Bay Park.

“The Port of San Diego understands the importance of public boat launches on San Diego Bay,” said Commissioner Bonelli, Coronado’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Part of our mission is to promote recreation and we are happy to be a partner on this important improvement project to improve access to Glorietta Bay.”

New Long Beach Commissioners

By Karen Robes Meeks

Two new Long Beach harbor commissioners will be sitting on the dais on Aug. 14.

Former California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and real estate business owner Frank Colonna will serve on the board that oversees the Port of Long Beach and the city’s Harbor Department.

The Long Beach City Council on Wednesday confirmed Mayor Robert Garcia’s appointments of Colonna and Lowenthal, both former council members.

Colonna will take over for Commissioner Doug Drummond, who has been serving since 2011 and had planned to retire next month. Lowenthal will replace Commissioner Rich Dines, who has served since 2011.

Harbor Commissioners can serve up to two six-year terms.

Colonna is a longtime real estate business owner who previously served two terms on the council, including two years as vice mayor. He is serving on the Economic Development Commission.

Lowenthal, a licensed family counselor and mental health consultant, is a longtime community leader who served as a board member on the Long Beach Unified School District, a councilwoman and vice mayor and an Assemblywoman who also chaired the Select Committee on Ports and Transportation Committee.

Lowenthal is the seventh woman to serve as a harbor commissioner in the port’s history. It’s also the first time that the five-member board has four women currently serving as commissioners at the port.

Spill Response Seminar

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard and other agencies will host a three-day seminar on oil spill response on July 25-27 for North Slope residents in Utqiaġivk, Alaska.

The seminar will feature speakers who will discuss various topics, including environmental law, the science of oil spills, oil spill recovery on ice, alternative response technologies, oiled wildlife operations, historic site preservation, international issues related to oil spills, local response teams and their resources, according to the Coast Guard.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and organizations involved in oil spill removal such as Chadux, Alaska Clean Seas, Chemtrack and Global are also expected to participate.

“We aim to provide the North Slope community residents, responders and elders awareness on North Slope oil spill preparedness, planning and response operations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jereme Altendorf, planning specialist at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We want the community to have assurance that we are capable to respond to an oil spill in the North Slope environment.”

The seminar will take place at the Barrow High School Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 25-26. An oil spill equipment deployment demonstration will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on July 27 near the Tank Farm.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Low Emissions Testing at Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

More demonstration projects to test zero and near-zero emission trucks and equipment for moving cargo will be happening at the Port of Los Angeles, thanks to recommendations made by the Sustainability Freight Advisory Committee. The port is planning to:

• Evaluate zero emission top handlers, including two battery-electric ones, the off-road heavy-duty equipment needed to load and unload trucks moving containers to and from marine terminals and three next-generation yard tractors, which is made possible with a $4.5 million California Energy Commission grant;

• Broaden zero emission drayage truck testing with a pilot program to assess 50 to 100 zero emission drayage trucks to see what needs to be done to create a 100 percent zero emission fleet by 2035; and

• Team the port industry with equipment manufacturers to examine present and future availability of zero and near-zero emission vehicles and equipment.

“This moment demands that we find innovative ways to reduce emissions at our port as quickly as possible – and that’s exactly why I brought the Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee together,” Garcetti said. “This group has embraced a difficult challenge with open arms, and its recommendations are important steps that bring us closer to our ambitious yet achievable goal of zero emissions at the Port of LA.”

“The committee’s work is already shaping policy and strengthening current zero emission demonstration projects at Los Angeles terminals,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka.

Anacortes Port Improvements

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Anacortes, Washington, recently received a $300,000 Economic Development Funding Grant from Skagit County, which will go toward paying for the port’s corroded and deteriorating Pier 2 Bulkhead Wall Improvements.

Located along the width of Pier 2, the 53-year-old steel sheet pile bulkhead wall is showing its wear and tear. The estimated $2.8 million project would entail repairing holes on the wall, applying cathodic protection and stabilizing upland soil.

The project will be done in two phases to make sure Pier 2 remains operational since the deepwater pier is used mainly for exporting bulk products. The first phase is set to begin this fall; the second phase will take place this spring.

Cruise Schedule for Olympia

By Karen Robes Meeks

Next fall, Olympia will be a destination stop in American Cruise Lines’ Grand Puget Sound tour itinerary, the Port of Olympia announced at the end of May.

The new 175-passenger American Constellation, will offer five overnight stops as part of its 11-day cruise package, and will drop anchor at the Port Plaza dock between September and November 2018.

This announcement is the result of a three-year planning process that involved a partnerships between officials from the port, the City of Olympia, Thurston County Economic Development Council, the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau and others.

Making Olympia an official cruise line Port of Call is part of a larger effort to “diversify port operations, capitalize on visitor and recreation amenities and stimulate local economic activity,” said port Executive Director Ed Galligan.

“Guests will have an opportunity to visit destinations throughout Thurston County, shop at local venues and, hopefully, recommend their favorite spaces and places to their friends and families,” he said. “We’re very appreciative that American Cruise Lines has selected Olympia as a destination, and we look forward to rewarding them with an unparalleled visitor experience.”

San Diego Annual Report Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the third year in a row, the Port of San Diego has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, by the Government Finance Officers Association for the United States and Canada, a nonprofit group representing about 17,500 government finance professionals.

The association also gave an Award of Financial Reporting Achievement to the port’s Financial Services Department for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

The port was presented with the recognition July 11.

“The fact that we have received this award for three consecutive years shows the port’s dedication to having an open and honest relationship with the public,” said Port Chairman Robert “Dukie” Valderrama. “We, as an organization, embody the ‘spirit of transparency’ that the Government Finance Officers Association strives to promote.”