Friday, December 15, 2017

Monthly TEU Record at Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles moved nearly a million TEUs in November, the most cargo the port has ever processed in a month, according to statistics released this week.

The nation’s busiest seaport handled 924,225 TEUs, surpassing last year’s record of 877,564 TEUs, which represents a 5.3 percent increase.

This, paired with the fact that the 2017 volumes are 6.3 percent more than last year’s 8.8 million TEUs, will put Los Angeles on the path to surge past 9 million TEUs in a calendar year, the first port in the Western Hemisphere to do so.

“Four vessels calling in Los Angeles each discharged and loaded more than 23,000 TEUs in November, all close to October’s 24,308 TEU record set last month in Los Angeles,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re proud to be partnering with our labor and supply-chain stakeholders to move these record-breaking cargo levels with efficiency, productivity and extraordinary customer service.”

The port also moved 463,690 imported TEUs, a 6.1 percent jump from the same period last year, and processed 177,913 exported TEUs, a slight .3 percent increase from November 2016.

Long Beach to Move 7 Million TEU

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach is projected to move more than 7 million containers this year, according to latest numbers released this week. If the projection is correct, it will be the fourth time in its history to reach that number. The port has already processed 6.8 million TEUs over the last 11 months, 10 percent more than in 2016 when the port moved more than 6.7 million TEUs.

Contributing to that statistic is the 612,659 TEUs Long Beach handled last month, a 14.7 percent jump from November 2016. “U.S. consumers are confident and the economy has been strong,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Retailers have been stocking goods as a result and we are nearing cargo levels we have not seen since before the 2008 recession.”

Imports rose 18 percent to 319,210 TEUs, a number attributed to retailers rushing to stock shelves for holiday and post-Christmas sales. Exports also went up 4.5 percent to 126,364 TEUs.

Bellingham Waterfront Input Opportunity

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to weigh in on the Port of Bellingham’s two new options for enhancing access to the downtown waterfront.

The first in a series of community opportunities for residents to provide their input will take place on December 19 before the Port Commission meeting.

The public can check out the layouts and ask questions from noon to 4 p.m. in the Harbor Center conference room, 1801 Roeder Ave., Comments will be accepted during the Commission meeting at 4 and 5:30 p.m. or can be submitted to

The commission is expected to choose a preferred park and road layout on February 6.

View the options at

New Commercial Chief at Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

Alex Strogen is the Port of Vancouver USA new chief commercial officer, replacing Alastair Smith, who has been with the port since 2003 and will retire in March 2018 after 45 years in the maritime industry.

Strogen, who will start with the port on January 16, will be tasked with planning and enacting short- and long-term “maritime marketing strategies, objectives and programs to promote domestic and international trade; planning and directing the marine cargo development program; guiding industrial recruitment and customer service; and developing and maintaining relationships,” according to the port.

“Alex brings a wealth of experience to the Port of Vancouver. He’s been on both sides of the table as a customer and a sales manager, so he really understands the needs of both and how to navigate those relationships,” said port CEO Julianna Marler.

“He also shares our dedication to industry leadership, stewardship and exceptional partnership. He’s a great addition to the team, and we look forward to welcoming him to our port and community in January.”

The Texas A&M University graduate previously served for six years as a senior global category leader for General Electric Global Operations. He has worked for major ocean carriers such as American Roll On Roll Off Carrier, APL and Maersk Line.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LA and LB Ports Seek Emissions Reduction Proposals

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation’s two busiest seaports are seeking proposals from companies that can bring new pollution-reducing technology to tankers, vehicle carriers and other non-container vessels.

Proposals must be submitted by February 27 to the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles, both of which will fund potential projects through their Technology Advancement Program.

The program offers $500,000 from each port toward demonstrations of technology that can help ships that don’t meet the state’s shore power mandate by curbing at-berth emissions. At least half of the project cost must come from the proposer.

Both ports have spent close to $400 million to outfit their docks with power hookups and other infrastructure for shore power.

For more about the proposal, visit

Kalama Adding Beer and Rooms

By Karen Robes Meeks

A McMenamins brewpub and hotel project at the Port of Kalama is on schedule to open in March 2018.

Construction of the building’s full height and most of the interior walls are completed, the rough interior construction is nearly done, as well as plumbing and electric work.

McMenamins will begin the finish work by including local historic details to the restaurant and hotel. When completed, McMenamins will feature 40 hotel rooms, a restaurant and a rooftop pub. It will complement the Ahles Point Small Bar currently under construction by local builder Mountain Log Homes south of the parks.

“We expect the entire McMenamins Project to be completed in the spring,” said Eric Yakovich, Port Economic Development Manager. “We look forward to enjoying all the amenities McMenamins has to offer as a new member of our community.”

Vancouver, USA Strategic Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners will take part of a special workshop on December 14 that focuses on updating the port’s strategic plan.

At the 8:30 a.m. workshop, which is open to the public, consultant Maul Foster & Alongi will give an overview of the strategic planning process. For much of next year, the consultant will be gathering input from stakeholders and staff members to help form the update, which is expected to be implemented in late 2018.

Although parts of the plan have been amended annually, this is the first time in more than a decade that the plan will be entirely updated.

“During that time, the port has grown and completed or made significant progress on many key initiatives, including the West Vancouver Freight Access Project and Centennial Industrial Building,” according to the port. “Work is now underway to develop and create a new strategic plan to guide port staff and resources for the next decade.”

Record Volumes Predicted at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Improved infrastructure coupled with new supply chain capabilities should result in record cargo volume at the Port of Oakland. It could also make Oakland a first port of call for container ships visiting the US from Asia. That’s the message a senior Port official gave supply chain executives this week.

Port of Oakland’s Maritime Director John Driscoll recently forecasted that the port will see record-level annual cargo volume through 2022.

This prediction is based on the various projects currently under construction that would draw more containerized cargo to Oakland starting early next year.

Those projects include raising four ship-to-shore cranes 27 feet higher at Oakland International Container Terminal; the anticipated August opening of Cool Port Oakland, a refrigeration plant that can annually process some 27,000 20-foot containers full of meat; and Seaport Logistics Complex, a 440,000-square-foot distribution center for transloading.

“I’m forecasting growth because of the development that’s going on here,” Driscoll told about 50 trade and transportation leaders who meet three times a year to review Oakland’s operating performance.

“It won’t be dramatic – it will be steady – but it will result in more cargo volume than we’ve ever had before,” Driscoll said.

He added that three international shipping lines are considering first calls to Oakland because of the port’s recent improvements.

“The ocean carriers are looking favorably at Oakland,” he said. “It’s a major discussion between them and their import customers.”