Thursday, August 10, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Sets July Box Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted the busiest July in its history, moving 796,804 TEUs last month, according to statistics released by the port Thursday.

This represents a 16 percent jump from the same period last year, when the port moved 687,891 TEUs. It also surpassed the 761,326 TEUs established back in July 2006, thus breaking the previous record. The port also handled 417,090 imported TEUs , a 13 percent spike from July 2016, and moved 154,925 TEUs in exports, a 17 percent increase over last year.

“As we strive to maintain our competitive edge with these record volumes, it’s important to acknowledge the Pacific Maritime Association and the good men and women of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union who just extended their contract with terminal operators until 2022,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The certainty that comes from this decision builds further long-term confidence in our supply chain as we continue to focus on superior infrastructure, innovative leadership and extraordinary customer service.”

The port is on its way to exceed last year’s record of 8.8 million TEUs, as cargo volumes are currently up 9.5 percent thus far.

Electric Trucks at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

This September, trucking company GSC Logistics will launch a three-year pilot program to test an all-electric big rig at the Port of Oakland, Calif.

GSC, considered the port’s biggest motor carrier handling the annual equivalent of 100,000 TEUs in Northern California and Nevada, will conduct the testing to see if zero-emission freight hauling is attainable.

The truck, which possesses a 100-mile battery range, will move import containers from the port’s marine terminals to a nearby yard and will be able to plug in at a charging station installed by the company.

“The purpose of the demo is to prove that battery-operated trucks can work in real world applications and port operations,” said GSC CEO Scott Taylor. “Depending on the efficiency, reliability, productivity and economics of battery-powered trucks, GSC would certainly entertain the possibility of integrating them into our fleet in the future,” he said.

This testing is sponsored by the California Air Resources Board, which last year began the zero-emission truck trial and is sponsoring the demonstration of five battery-operated trucks in Southern California in conjunction with the Oakland study.

“We’re out to prove that zero-emission, battery-powered trucks can be used in heavy-duty applications,” said Andy Swanton of subsidiary BYD California, whose company is manufacturing the trucks.

San Diego Harbor Police to Help Philippine
Law Enforcement

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US State Department has recruited the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department’s dive team to help federal and Philippine maritime law enforcement agencies improve their ability to conduct underwater searches and respond to disaster situations in the Philippines.

The port dive team took part in a curriculum development workshop from July 17–20 with six Philippine maritime law enforcement experts from the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.

The workshop addressed various topics, such as detecting illegal drugs smuggled on the hull of vessels or dumped overboard for later retrieval. The curriculum will eventually be part of the three Philippine law enforcement agencies’ training academies.

“This is another important opportunity in our partnership with US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said Chief John Bolduc, Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department.

“Our dive team is essential in our department’s work to deter crime locally and in maintaining homeland security. By sharing our expertise with our counterparts at INL and in Philippine law enforcement, we’re helping to keep ports and harbors around the world safe as well,” he added.

The effort is part of a broader program to share best practices with law enforcement agencies for ports and harbors around the world to support foreign port security and fight international crime.

Everett Guiding Principles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett has released the guiding principles that will serve as the basis for the development of the port’s Marina Business Plan. Developed over the last six months by an ad hoc citizen committee made up of boaters, business owners, developers and engineers, the list contains the following guidelines:

• Enacting innovative lease, management, finance, and construction options, including privatization to reach financial sustainability;

• Creating new facilities that can respond to changes in the market that can work with the natural hydraulic and sediment conditions;

• Exploring a tiered service level structure for moorage fees; and

• Fostering user-friendly connectivity between marina basins and downtown Everett.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

More Port Bicycles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Vancouver USA received a $485,000 grant from the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) to develop a multimodal path at Terminal 1.The path will link the City of Vancouver’s Renaissance Trail and the new waterfront park. The project is slated for completion in 2018.

Cyclists and pedestrians will also be able to use another path to move to and from the trail and the new Grant Street Pier.

“The port is building on its vision for the waterfront, and this grant from RTC will help us reach that vision,” said Port of Vancouver Commissioner Jerry Oliver, who also represents Clark County’s public ports on the 14-member RTC Board of Directors. The path is part of a larger effort by the port to revitalize Terminal 1, a former industrial and commercial site, into a mixed-used facility.

Nearly $4 million is budgeted for trail design, geotechnical work, engineering and construction.

Money for the grant come from federal Transportation Alternatives Program.

Longshoremen Agree to Extension

By Karen Robes Meeks

West Coast dockworkers have formally agreed to extend their contract three more years, guaranteeing a stable labor force as peak season is underway.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents roughly 20,000 workers at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington, ratified its contract extension with the Pacific Maritime Association.

About 67 percent of ILWU members voted to extend the contract from 2019 to 2022, according to the ILWU’s Coast Balloting Committee, which announced Friday that the vote took place.

The prolonged contract includes increased wages and pensions and maintains health benefits, according to the union. “The rank-and-file membership has made their decision and expressed a clear choice,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “During the past year we saw a healthy debate and heard different points of view, with concerns raised by all sides. The democratic process allowed us to make a difficult decision and arrive at the best choice under the circumstances.”

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka applauded the ratification.

“The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s vote to extend their contract by three years helps sustain the momentum building in our supply chain as we continue to focus on delivering innovation, value and efficiency for the US importers and exporters,” Seroka said. “The certainty that comes with this contract extension is great news for all of Southern California, where one in nine jobs in the five-county region are connected to the San Pedro Bay port complex.”

The extension gives the supply chain confidence that contract disputes won’t distract from the business of the moving cargo. “This shows that the West Coast means business when it comes to moving cargo for our customers,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, who released a statement when it appeared that the extension would likely happen. “We’re the most efficient, timely and cost-effective gateway for international trade and with a contract extension, we’re also the most dependable.”

Seattle Seeks CEO

By Karen Robes Meeks

The search for a new executive director for the Port of Seattle has officially begun.

The commission has posted the job after stakeholders weighed in on what qualities and attributes are needed in a potential port leader.

“We value the thoughtful input of our employees and broader community regarding the qualities needed in our next Executive Director,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire.

The port received over 500 responses, conducted five employee forums that drew over 200 employees, and spoke to more than 100 community, civic and business stakeholders.

The feedback emphasized strategic and entrepreneurial leadership qualities, experience in working in complex organizations and the ability to form strong relationships that is done in a transparent and inclusive way.

“We seek a great public servant to lead the port during this dynamic time to achieve our goals for broadly shared economic opportunity, job creation, environmental sustainability and equity,” said Commissioner Fred Felleman, who is co-leading the search effort with Gregoire.

The commission plans to select a new executive director by late fall to replace former chief Ted Fick, who resigned in February. The next executive director will oversee the expansion of the Sea-Tac International Airport support the North Pacific Fishing Fleet, the port’s real estate assets, about 1,900 employees and a billion-dollar budget.

For more information visit Tags: Port of Seattle, Executive Director, Seattle Port Commission

Los Angeles Port Awards Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

About 34 organizations will receive grants totaling nearly $1 million from the Port of Los Angeles for projects that improve and enhance the waterfront and communities within the San Pedro Bay.

Recipients of the port’s Community Investment Sponsorship Program for fiscal year 2017-2018 include:

• The Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s TopSail Youth Program;

• The International Trade Education Program (ITEP), which helps area prepare high school students for opportunities in port-related sectors such as trade, transportation and logistics; and

• The Robert F. Kennedy Institute of Community and Family Medicine, which works toward mitigating port-based chronic diseases for visitors, residents and employees.

“Investing and reinvesting in our local harbor communities has been a long-time priority,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This annual grant program allows the Port of Los Angeles to consistently support projects that we believe have − or can have − a measurable and positive impact on our community and its residents.”