Thursday, August 31, 2017

Oakland Predicts Record Volumes

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Oakland leaders predict a five-year run of record cargo volume starting next year.

The Northern California facility anticipates moving 2.6 million TEUs annually by 2022, eight percent more than the port has ever processed in a single year, according to the Strategic Maritime Roadmap released by the port in early August.

It also forecasts a record volume of more than 2.4 million cargo containers in 2018.

The Roadmap predicts that the growth will come from more cargo arriving to the port in larger ships as well as Oakland’s burgeoning freight market with its new logistics capabilities, such as distribution centers and freight transfer facilities. The port foresees ships calling to Oakland would be 35 percent larger within 15 years and bring up to 18,000 containers.

“We’re serving a thriving area and developing new services for our customers,” said Oakland’s Maritime Director John Driscoll. “The combination should be positive for everyone who relies on the Port for their business or their job.”

The roadmap also details a commercial strategy that calls for bolstering its US Midwest meat and grain exports, attracting more auto imports; drawing containerized cargo to a new refrigerated distribution center and its Seaport Logistics Complex; and pushing for 15 percent more import cargo that comes to the port and is loaded on rails for inland distribution.

Vancouver USA Increases Access

By Karen Robes Meeks

This past summer, the Port of Vancouver USA designed and built an ADA-compliant ramp to improve waterfront access to WareHouse ’23 restaurant at Terminal 1.

The newly built switchback ramp provides the public direct access to the restaurant, as opposed to going through the former Red Lion hotel lobby.

The port also upgraded the existing main doors with push-button entry and finished lighting improvements. The project cost $30,000 and was completed between January and July.

“We thought it was really important to install a newer ramp that not only met ADA requirements, but also gave direct access to WareHouse ’23,” said Project Delivery Manager Mark Newell. “Maintaining access to Terminal 1 and the waterfront for everyone is very important to us as an organization.”

Long Beach Grants Available

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nonprofit organizations in the Long Beach area can now apply for Port of Long Beach grants through its Community Sponsorship Program.

According to the port, the subsidies are for “community events and activities that help the port inform residents about its mission and international trade while making Long Beach a better place to live and work.”

Last spring, 136 sponsorships totaling $372,500 were allocated to local organizations supporting causes from the arts to social justice.

Requests must be submitted by 4 p.m. on September 29.

The Board of Harbor Commissioners will vote on the release of the funds, which is expected to be awarded to groups by mid-November.

Visit for more information about the program and application procedures.

San Diego Seeks Seaport Village Operator

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is seeking bids from companies interested in operating the Seaport Village on an interim basis after the current lease ends on September 30, 2018.

Last year, the port chose the 1HWY1 team to reimagine the Central Embarcadero, which includes Seaport Village and surrounding areas, an undertaking that project will take several years.

By having an interim operator, the port is ensuring that the 14-acre site with 70 retailers and restaurants will remain open while the port redevelops the Central Embarcadero.

Proposals are due on October 12, with follow-up interviews scheduled for October30-31. A presentation before the Board of Port Commissioners is expected to take place December 5.

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Increases Security

By Karen Robes Meeks

Officials at the nation’s busiest seaport announced on Friday that they will beef up security at West Basin Container Terminal after a man driving a stolen SUV breached port security earlier this month.

While long-term solutions are being considered, the Port of Los Angeles in the interim has already made stringent modifications to access points at the terminal and added more security personnel, road barriers and other measures. The port is also reviewing security at all its terminals.

“Last week’s incident involving a subject in a stolen car illegally entering one of our terminals is something that we will learn from and we have taken immediate interim steps to correct,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “There is nothing more important than the safety of our workers and the security of our port complex.”

On August 16, police chased James Llamas, 23, as he drove a stolen car through South Bay and Long Beach, and ultimately into the Port of Los Angeles complex.

The chase, which was televised, showed Llamas speeding through the terminal and climbing a crane. The port told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that the man was perched 120 feet above sea level. During the hours-long standoff with police, he stripped his clothes, danced and exercised, and displayed other erratic behaviors before plunging to his death.

“I commend the Port of Los Angeles for quickly addressing the vulnerability revealed by last week’s police chase suspect,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino.” As our region’s biggest economic engine, it is critical to ensure the security of goods movement and the safety of the hard-working people who make our Port the efficient machine that it is.”

USCG Suspends Aviator Search

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has suspended its search for five Army aviators who have been missing for more than a week off Oahu. The search started August 15 when the Coast Guard received word from Wheeler Army Airfield that they lost communication with one of its UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews, who were conducting night training operations between Ka'ena Point and Dillingham Airfield.

Search teams scoured more than 72,575 square nautical miles in more than 132 separate searches that started off of Ka'ena Point, Oahu, and extended west beyond Kauai and Ni'ihau, according to the Coast Guard.

“A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Army helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing,” said Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins, commander of the Coast Guard 14th District. “Our Coast Guard crews relied on their training and professionalism in this dynamic environment to mount the best response possible and I want to thank all our partners, the Navy, Army, the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources, Fire, Police and Ocean Safety for their extraordinary efforts. As we suspend the search we stand ready to support any future operations the Army conducts, and continue to provide any comfort we can for those suffering from this tragic loss.”

Hueneme’s Decas Top Port Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) recently named Port of Hueneme’s Director and CEO Kristin Decas as Top Port Director of the Year.

Decas, who will be honored at the association’s annual award gala at the end of the year, is being recognized for her work in promoting economic development through international trade promotion, which include appointments by the US Department of Transportation to the National Freight Advisory Committee and the US Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council.

“Choosing Kristin for this award was an easy decision for our panel to make,” said IAOTP President Stephanie Cirami. “In a male dominated industry, Kristin is talented, bright, beautiful and brilliant at what she does and we felt she would make an amazing asset to our organization. We are looking forward to meeting her at the gala and know we will be seeing more amazing things from this amazing woman.”

Decas blazed trails in her profession when she became the first woman to run the Port of New Bedford, where she turned a port with a $200,000 deficit into a profitable port that is seeing growth in cruise and recreational boating activity.

In 2012, she became the first woman to lead the Port of Hueneme, overseeing the port’s strongest sustained trade years since its inception in 1937.

Los Angeles Fleet Week

By Karen Robes Meeks

Today marks the start of Fleet Week in Los Angeles.

Sailors from various military ships will descend on the Port of Los Angeles for the second annual event, giving tours aboard vessels such as the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey and the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Scout.

The public will be able to tour the ships and meet sailors from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. September 1-4 at the Port of Los Angeles next to the USS Iowa Museum. Reservations are suggested through

The San Pedro Historic Business District will be welcoming service members with a free Hollywood-themed party that’s open to the public at 6 p.m. on August 30.

Ariza Elevated Game Awards will present a rivalry basketball tournament between the city of Los Angeles and U.S. Military on September 2-3, while on Labor Day, celebrity chefs Robert Irvine, Mei Lin, and Steve Samson will judge a ‘Galley Wars’ cooking contest among cooks representing the US Navy, US Coast Guard, US Marine Corps and Royal Canadian NavyBoth events are free and open to the public.

The Labor Day weekend will include performances from headliners such as Quiet Riot, Los Lobos, Vince Neil, lead vocalist of Mötley Crüe, and country musicians Shannon Rae and Brent Payne.

“This year’s LA Fleet Week has something for everyone to enjoy,” said Jonathan Williams, executive director of the LA Fleet Week Foundation. “We’ve also added many new attractions on the Labor Day holiday so that families can come to the LA Waterfront and make a full day of it.”

Last year’s inaugural event attracted more than 200,000 people.