Friday, November 17, 2017

Volumes Down at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Despite last month being the Port of Los Angeles’ third best October, the nation’s busiest seaport saw its numbers fall 8.1 percent to 748,762 TEUs compared to the same period a year ago, according to the numbers released this week.

The port moved 383,385 imported TEUs, an 8.1 percent decrease from October 2016, and 144,209 exported TEUs, a 13.3 percent drop year over year.

The decrease is not wholly unexpected, given last year’s record-shattering October when the Los Angeles took on more cargo following the 2016 collapse of Hanjin.

Despite the drop, port officials highlighted its strong cargo volumes in 2017. With volumes up 6.4 percent to 7.6 million TEUs from 2016, the port is projected to move 9 million TEUs in one year, a milestone among ports in the Western Hemisphere.

New Fireboat at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach this week officially welcomed a second, new fireboat, Vigilance, in a ceremony dedicated to the late Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Dr. John Kashiwabara, the first Japanese American to serve on the board.

Vigilance, along with fireboat Protector, will be able to meet the needs of larger vessels now calling at the port.

“A capable fleet of fireboats that bring the best modern technology has to offer is essential in minimizing loss and maximizing business continuity for the port,” said Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee. “These amazing vessels will help us better serve the Port of Long Beach.”

Each boat has 10 water cannons that pump out more than 41,000 gallons per minute (four times more than the older fireboats they replaced) and can shoot water as far as two football fields, and taller than a 20-story building, according to the port.

“These fireboats are technological marvels, able to turn on a dime, move sideways and throw water or foam anywhere on the world's largest container ships and oil tankers,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “They are vital to ensure the flow of commerce, and important parts of the best-in-nation services we provide our customers.”

Bulk Tenant Returns to Longview

By Karen Robes Meeks

International Raw Materials (IRM) is returning to the Port of Longview. The Philadelphia-based company, which operated in Longview from 1981 to 2001, has recently signed an agreement with the Washington seaport to lease its Bridgeview Terminal.The company plans to make Longview its flagship location for exporting dry-bulk cargo, according to the port.

“IRM appreciates the opportunity to return to a port and a community that played a significant role in our company’s history and intends to grow and sustain commodity volumes through the facility and increase job frequency and revenue,” said IRM Vice President Tim Mahoney. “We have immediate intentions to improve existing components of the bulk loadout facility, while working to expand the on-site rail footprint.”

The port had been looking for a new tenant after its contract with Kinder Morgan expired.

“Based on their previous operating record at the port, I’m confident IRM will successfully operate Bridgeview Terminal,” said Commission President Doug Averett. “I’m looking forward to a long-term partnership that will bring additional economic vitality to our region.”

Vancouver USA Adopts 2018 Budget

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders for the Port of Vancouver USA this week adopted a $68.5 million fiscal plan for the upcoming year.

The 2018 budget is $16.7 million less than last year’s budget due to completion of much of the major parts of the West Vancouver Freight Access and Centennial Industrial Building projects.

About 22 percent of the port’s 2018 capital budget will go toward the completion of the West Vancouver Freight Access project, while nearly 36 percent is slated for port infrastructure and IT systems maintenance, and the remainder going toward waterfront, facility and terminal improvements.

The new budget also shows $38.22 million in operating revenues (a 3 percent increase from 2017), 70 percent of which is from marine, terminal and rail operations. The balance came from industrial property leases, rail and facilities, according to the port.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Container Service for Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Starting this January, The China Navigation Company (CNCo) – Swire Shipping – will commence a container shipping service at the Port of Portland, a move that revives container service at the terminal.

The new business was announced Monday by Governor Kate Brown, the Port of Portland, and Business Oregon on the heels of a recent trade mission to Hong Kong where Brown and port officials convened with Swire corporate executives.

“I am absolutely delighted to announce new container service will begin at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6," Brown said. "Not only does the container service support jobs for Oregonians, it's going to give more options to Oregon companies as we work to maximize Terminal 6. We’ve been working hard to expand export options to our Oregon business, which is why I recently lead a trade mission to Asia. Strong trading partnerships and access to global markets allow Oregon businesses to grow, helping to sustain a thriving statewide economy."

The new service is expected to be monthly and feature incoming Asia cargo, as well as containers sent to Australia/New Zealand and Western Star trucks exports to Australia. Daimler Trucks North America are producing the vehicles at its Swan Island facility in Portland.

“The Port is focused on giving our local shippers a variety of options to move their goods efficiently,” said Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland executive director. “Most importantly, this signals that T-6 is open for business. We very much appreciate the growing partnership we have with Swire.”

The new Swire service is benefiting from a $250,000 Strategic Reserve Fund investment, aimed at helping Oregon businesses bring their wares to a global market and aid Northwest shippers.

New Longview Marine Terminal Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Mark Price is Port of Longview’s new director of Marine Terminals.

Price, whose more than 20 years of Pacific Northwest waterfront experience includes managing Kinder Morgan’s operations in Portland, Vancouver and Longview, will be tasked with overseeing cargo operations at the port.

“Mark is an outstanding addition to our team,” said Port of Longview Chief Executive Officer Norm Krehbiel. “His experience and knowledge of Northwest ports provides valuable input to our operations and business development.”

Price will work with the port’s Business Development Department to elaborate marketing cargo strategies to broaden the port’s customer base and attract new maritime opportunities.

“The Port of Longview is an established leader in the cargo handling industry,” said Price. “I believe my proven track record in managing safe, environmentally sound and productive cargo operations will continue to add to the port’s successes.”

Oakland Truck Management

By Karen Robes Meeks

City and Port of Oakland officials are putting together a new West Oakland Truck Management Plan to address truck traffic concerns in the neighborhood.

The plan, due in the fall of 2018, will aim to move traffic away from homes bordering the port. Officials are hosting a series of five workshops in the area to gather comments.

“This will be a plan that relies on community input to address truck circulation and parking,” said Patricia McGowan, Senior Planner for the City of Oakland Planning and Building Department. “We want trucks to be less disruptive by controlling where they drive and park.”

Every day, about 3,000 trucks ferry cargo in and out of the port and most of that traffic stays on port roads and adjacent freeways, according to Richard Sinkoff, the Port’s Environmental Programs and Planning Director. Some, however, will head through the neighborhood when truckers need food, fuel or repairs. The plan will strengthen truck restrictions enforcement.

Leadership Award at San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nonprofit environmental group Ocean Connectors recently honored Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Robert “Dukie” Valderrama with its Leadership Award.

Valderrama was recognized for his outstanding service and dedication to the community of National City and for his environmental stewardship of San Diego Bay.

“The Port is committed to protecting the environment, including the wildlife of San Diego Bay and the tidelands,” said Chairman Valderrama. “This award demonstrates how seriously the Port takes that responsibility and I commend the Port’s staff for their progress with supporting environmental education."

The award was presented at the organization’s 10-year anniversary event honoring its founding funders, which included the port, key supporters and nonprofit partners.