Friday, November 10, 2017

Ports Discuss Digital Links

By Karen Robes Meeks

International port leaders recently convened in Los Angeles as part of chainPORT, an effort to link ports digitally and make the supply chain more efficient.

Created in 2015, chainPORT is led by the Ports of Los Angeles and Hamburg Port Authority in Germany in partnership with the Global Institute of Logistics.

“Working together to explore best practices and innovation, as well as leading-edge technology to improve port operations is more important than ever in a global environment,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As a port, we need to continue to evolve and adapt to remain both competitive and relevant.”

The two-day meeting brought port leaders from Shanghai, Antwerp, Barcelona, Montreal, Felixstowe, Indonesia and Shenzhen. Seroka spoke about his port’s pilot program with GE Transportation to create a digital hub to provide shipping data in real time so those in the supply chain can better prepare to move cargo more efficiently.

The event featured presentations from chainPORT’s five working groups: Smart IT solutions; Implications & Solutions for Ultra Large Container Vessels; Digital Change within Port Authorities; Project chainLOG; and the Port Academy.

“Port operations are becoming more and more complex, and we strongly believe port authorities working together around the globe can add significant extra value to the global supply chain,” said Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority. “Collaboration in a global network of ports and digitization is the way of the future.”

Veterans First at Port of Seattle and Tacoma

By Karen Robes Meeks

Veterans looking for work will get first crack at jobs offered in the Puget Sound.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma are teaming up with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to participate in the Guardians of the Gateway Veterans Career Workshop.

Veterans can explore various jobs at the port and airport, from K-9, dive team, bomb disposal and marine patrol police teams to container terminal security officers.

Veterans can also hear from prospective employers about the application process, salaries and benefits, open positions and opportunities for career growth.

The free workshop will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on November 15 in the Beijing Room at the Conference Center at Sea-Tac International Airport, 17801 International Blvd. in SeaTac, Washington.

To register, visit

New Oakland Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Daria Edgerly was recently named secretary of the Port of Oakland Commissioners Board, its first woman and African American to serve in the role since the seven-member Board of Port Commissioners was created in 1927.

Edgerly, who had been acting board secretary, which involves running the office of the port's governing board, takes over for John Betterton, who retired after two decades in the position.

“I'm gratified that commissioners have given me this opportunity," Edgerly said. “And I'm pleased that women of color are given the opportunity to advance at the port.”

Edgerly is a native of Oakland who graduated from Cal State University, East Bay, and previously worked for the City of Oakland.

Everett Real Estate Deal

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett Commission has agreed to ink a $3.689 million purchase and sale agreement with Panattoni Development Co. for nearly 10 acres of the port’s 38-acre Riverside Business Park.

The real estate company will have 60 days to review and 30 days to close, according to the port.

"Panattoni is excited to be working with the Port and the City of Everett on another state-of-the-art industrial building. This project will be adding to our resume of over a dozen buildings in Snohomish County all of which were successful projects for us,” said Donnie Belk, Senior Development Manager with Panattoni. “We expect to be under construction at Riverside Business Park in the Spring of 2018 with delivery of the finished space by December 2018. We are calling our project Glacier Peak at Riverside Business Park."

According to the port, this land sale, paired with Latitude’s land lease and KW Projects purchase, will generate up to 400 direct jobs, and 2.8 additional local jobs for every position created, adding that all but two lots in the business park are under contract.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Los Angeles and Long Beach Clean Air Update

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have approved the latest version of the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update aimed at making the region air cleaner from port operations. The blueprint calls for initiatives such as:

• Establishing a rate structure and incentives to create quicker turnover to near-zero and “zero-emission” trucks to reach the goal of becoming a zero-emission on-road drayage fleet by 2035;

• Creating more cargo flow efficiency and lower emissions with programs such as a universal truck reservation system, staging yards and intelligent transportation systems;

• Mandating terminal operators to use zero-emission equipment or the cleanest equipment available when buying new cargo-handling equipment starting in 2020, to reach a 2030 zero emissions terminal equipment goal; and

• Using more on-dock rail, with the long-term goal of moving half of all departing cargo by rail.

“The San Pedro Bay ports are the driving forces of our region’s economy – and they should also be global models for sustainability and clean air,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This update to the Clean Air Action Plan is an important step toward our ambitious goal of zero emissions landside goods movement by 2035, and I look forward to making even more progress with our partners in the months and years to come.”

Everett Long-Term Lease Inked

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett has inked a long-term ground lease with Waterfront Place Retail, LLC, an entity associated with The Schuster Group, to build restaurants and retail in Fisherman’s Harbor at Waterfront Place. The deal is expected to bring millions of dollars annually to the local economy.

The lease includes five parcels between Seiner Drive and the Esplanade, two at the entry of Waterfront Place, and the Port Gardner Landing parcel.

"We're very excited to be a part of this landmark project for the Port of Everett,” President of The Schuster Group Holly Gardner said. “The Waterfront Place project fits within our focus on emerging markets and our wheelhouse of expertise. Perhaps most importantly, it aligns with our mission of creating distinctive, sustainable projects of enduring value."

Fisherman’s Harbor is the first phase of the 65-acre Waterfront Place Central mixed-use development, which will feature 266 apartment homes, a 142-room hotel with meeting and event space and nine retail and waterfront restaurant spaces.

The area will also feature the Esplanade waterside public trail, the Dock Walk, Seiner Wharf and the Pacific Rim Plaza.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-to-late 2019.

Vancouver, USA Commissioner Honored

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Vancouver USA Commission Brian Wolfe was recently honored by The Pacific Northwest Waterways Association with a Distinguished Service Award. Wolfe was chosen for his leadership and service to the industry.

“Each year, our association recognizes members and colleagues who have made significant contributions to the success of projects and issues that are important to the region,” said PNWA Executive Director Kristin Meira. “Brian Wolfe’s years of public service as an elected commissioner at the Port of Vancouver are to be commended and celebrated. We’re grateful for the active role he’s played and proud to honor him at our annual convention.”

Since his election in 2005, Wolfe has been an advocate for commerce, sustainable development and job creation at the port and the region.

He helped to establish the Columbia River Economic Development Council and was its board chair from 1983 through 1994. As a port commission, Wolfe’s leadership and vision was exercised on various capital projects that foster the growth of the local economy, including the 108-acre Centennial Industrial Park, $250 million West Vancouver Freight Access rail project (WVFA) and Terminal 1 waterfront development project.

Oakland Firm Makes Emissions Investment

By Karen Robes Meeks

Trucking and warehousing specialist Impact Transportation is the latest Port of Oakland freight-hauler making investments on emissions-clearing equipment.

The company recently announced plans to spend more than $1 million on cleaner cargo-handling equipment in the form of nine new forklifts and a yard tractor. The equipment will operate on either propane or diesel fuel, according to the company, which also plans to run its diesel-powered machines with Tier 4F engines.

“We comply with all local, state and federal regulations,” said Impact Transportation President Ron Cancilla. “But we’re also doing this for the health and safety of our employees, our closest Oakland neighbors and the entire Port community.”

The company alone handles more than 100,000 20-foot containers of cargo every year at Oakland.