Friday, December 28, 2018

Port of San Diego, Navy Partner on Blue Economy

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego’s Blue Economy effort has acquired a significant partner in the US Navy.

The port and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport have signed a Partnership Intermediary Agreement to help push the innovation of a Blue Economy, which seeks to balance economic growth and coastal preservation in the San Diego area.

“Our role in the arrangement with the Port of San Diego is to provide expertise, and collaborate, where possible, in developing ocean technologies that may benefit the US Navy,” said NUWC Division, Keyport Deputy Customer Advocate Jay Cavalieri. “This arrangement allows the Port of San Diego to identify possible technologies, and together we will work to develop a plan to test, evaluate and transition those technologies to the Fleet. This PIA is really a starting point for future efforts and I'm excited about the partnership because it allows Keyport to gain a different view into non-traditional companies and ideas. Our Ballast Point Facility is a perfect location to test and evaluate some of those emerging technologies.”

According to Port Chairman Rafael Castellanos, the ports leadership in the Blue Economy is well established with cargo, shipbuilding and fishing industries and now the port is leading the way into the next generation of opportunities on its dynamic waterfront.

“I am pleased that we have achieved one of the goals I set this year of coming to an agreement with the US Navy to further drive innovation in San Diego Bay,” said Castellanos.

Oakland Scrap Paper Shipments Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Shipments of scrap paper rose three percent in the first 10 months of 2018 at the Port of Oakland, bucking a trend for US exports.

The port, which considers waste paper its biggest export by container volume, moved 110,400 TEUs of it between January and October 2018, close to 18 percent of Oakland’s total export volume. Most of it went to Asia to use for packaging material.

The statistic is impressive, considering the tariff standoff between the US and China and China’s more stringent standards on foreign scrap.

While scrap paper shipments to China, the port’s top trade partner, have been down 37 percent this year, other Asian countries have clamored for more scrap. In 2018 the demand in Taiwan was up 522 percent, while Vietnam rose 344 percent.

“We can’t be certain if this trend will last, but the figures seem to show that there’s no loss of demand globally,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It appears that shippers are finding new markets for their scrap paper products.”

Meanwhile, scrap metal export is up 10 percent this year because demand in Taiwan, Vietnam and India has allowed Oakland to curb much of the loss experience from China, whose shipments for the product fell 43 percent.

Closures Expected for Long Beach Rail Traffic

By Karen Robes Meeks

Starting March 9, commuters should anticipate an operational closure at 9th Street near Pico Avenue in Long Beach’s west side.

The Port of Long Beach says the closure will allow for longer trains and the movement of cargo using on-dock rail rather than by trucks, a move that will mean less pollution.

The closure will also mean better traffic flow and safety, especially at Pico Avenue, Pier B Street and the on- and off-ramps to and from the 710 Freeway. Oversized trucks will be able to access the crossing with special permits and at appointed times, according to the port.

To bypass 9th Street, the port is suggesting that drivers use the 710 Freeway.

New Port of Seattle General Counsel

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle has tapped Pete Ramels, a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Civil Division of the King County Prosecutor’s Office, to be its General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.

“I am honored to join the Port of Seattle as General Counsel and look forward to using my years of legal experience in government, real estate and land use to help our region prosper during this time of economic growth and opportunity,” said Ramels.

In his new role, Ramels will advise port leaders on legal matters and oversee the port’s legal team and public records office. As Chief Compliance Officer, he will be tasked with managing the port’s Workplace Responsibility office and compliance with its code of conduct.

“Our General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer is critical to maintaining trust with our community and showing employees, residents, and partners the respect that they deserve,” said Port Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “We appreciate Pete’s expertise on the key legal issues and his commitment to helping a public agency meet the highest ethical standards.”

Ramels, who earned his Juris Doctorate with Honors from the University of Washington School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University, arrives at a very crucial moment for the port.

“The port just approved a budget blueprint that commits to some of our most significant investments we’ve made in decades, particularly along our working waterfront,” said Port Executive Director Stephen P. Metruck. “Pete’s expertise in real estate, environmental, land use, and regulatory issues will help the port work effectively while being governed by the highest ethical standards.” Ramels is expected to start on Jan. 14.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Olympia CEO Finalists

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia Commission is expected to choose an executive director on Dec. 21. The commission will interview the finalists in executive session before announcing its decision in public session later that afternoon.

From a pool of 37 candidates, the port whittled it down to three finalists: Sam Gibboney, who served as the Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend; Geir-Eilif Kalhagen, who was Director of Northern California and Pacific Northwest for Metro Ports in Long Beach, California; and Dan Stahl, COO of the Port of Longview.

The chosen candidate will replace Ed Galligan, who served 12 years before resigning.

Airport director Rudy Rudolph is serving as port interim executive director while the commission conducts its search for new leadership.

San Pedro Bay Ports Consider Emissions Plans

By Karen Robes Meeks

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are asking the public to weigh in on a draft assessment that looks at the feasibility of clean truck technology – a document that will help the nation’s two busiest seaports reach a key goal within their Clean Air Action Plan.

The new version of the plan, which the ports updated in 2017, calls for zero-emissions trucks by 2035 and zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment by 2030.

According to the port, the draft released Tuesday lays out the current landscape in this market, including available technology and infrastructure, economic factors and commercial readiness.

The public has until Jan. 23 to comment on the draft by emailing To view the assessment document, visit

Meanwhile, the release of a draft terminal equipment assessment is anticipated for early 2019.

San Diego Boat Launch to Reopen

By Karen Robes Meeks

The boat launch at Shelter Island is expected to reopen on Dec. 21, the Port of San Diego announced this week. The boat launch has been closed to the public since construction began to make the facility safer and easier to navigate.

The contractor will remain on site through January 2019 to complete other tasks, including beach grading and site cleanup.

Improvements made include widening the basin area where boats maneuver by 80 percent, adding length to boarding floats and installing a newer launch ramp. The project also included making improvements to the public docks and walkways, nearby parking and bringing restrooms to current ADA-standards. Visit for more information.

Vancouver, USA Approves Hotel Lease

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners recently agreed to a new lease with T1 Hotel LLC, allowing for a 160-room AC by Marriott Hotel to be built at Terminal 1.

This replaces the original lease inked in August 2017 between the port and Vancouver, Washington-based owner of T1 Hotel Vesta Hospitality. According to the port, it incorporates subsequent amendments and includes language on green building standards and ground stabilization necessary to construct at the waterfront.”

Work on stabilizing the ground that will support the hotel and future Renaissance Trail connection through Terminal 1 is anticipated to start next year. Meanwhile, the hotel, which will be LEED Gold certified, is expected to be ready in 2021 and is projected to employ more than 80 workers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Million-TEU Mark for SSA Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington State saw its first marine terminal surpass one million TEUs in a year when SSA Marine’s Terminal 18 reached the milestone earlier this month.

“To reach 1 million TEUs at a Puget Sound terminal for the first time is an enormous achievement and a testament to the value of working together under the banner of The Northwest Seaport Alliance,” said Don Meyer, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of the NWSA.

The North Harbor terminal, which is on its way to 1.1 million TEUs by year’s end, credits the success to an agreement with ILWU Local 19 to launch “continuous vessel operations,” allowing breaks to be staggered so more cargo can be handled daily.

This allowed SSA to handle 5,500 containers on and off a single vessel, achieving an average of 30 crane moves hourly, a first for a terminal in the Puget Sound, according to the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

“Surpassing 1 million TEUs is a milestone and a testament to the hardworking people who come here every day and do a wonderful job,” said Eli Bohm, general manager at Terminal 18. “A saying has surfaced in recent months: ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.’ We definitely have an outstanding team that is without a doubt committed to continued success.”

To enhance efficiency, Terminal 18 also boosted its equipment needs by investing in rubber-tired gantry cranes, a move that helped draw two new services and an ocean carrier this year.

“We are proud to announce that Terminal 18 has handled over 1 million TEUs so far this year,” said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of the Northwest Seaport Alliance. “This reflects a strong partnership between The Northwest Seaport Alliance, SSA Marine and Labor that sustains hundreds of good paying jobs in our harbor.”

Bellingham Receives Broadband Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham recently received a $50,000 grant from the Community Economic Revitalization Board for a Rural Broadband Feasibility Study. The research will identify which areas in the county are underserved by broadband, explore how to bring that infrastructure to those communities and what is needed to enact a broadband system countywide.

“In Whatcom County we have many rural communities who either do not have broadband access or have it but the speed is inadequate,” said Port Director of Economic Development Don Goldberg. Like water, roads, and electricity, broadband is of fundamental importance to social and economic development. Increasing capacity is essential to the economic growth of Whatcom County.

It will enable businesses in our mostly rural county to thrive and compete in an increasingly digital world. However, investment must not only be in infrastructure but in relevant content services, support, and information literacy development to address inequity and deliver broadband inclusion for all,” Goldberg added. “This grant and study are very important first steps among many in providing broadband to our rural communities.”

Local resources matched the grant funding with $30,000.

Long Beach Chairs Mayors’ Task Force

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is the new chair of the US Conference of Mayors’ Ports and Exports Task Force.

The mayor, who announced his appointment to his constituents earlier this month, said “As Chair I will bring the Port of Long Beach experience and expertise and highlight our Clean Air Action Plan, key infrastructure projects affirming our commitment to operational excellence and other initiatives that make our port one of the best ports in the world.”

“Strengthening trade and commerce at our ports is critical to the success of our national and regional economies throughout the United States,” Garcia noted in his announcement. “The Port of Long Beach is a national leader and I am looking forward to partnering with mayors from across the country on trade and exports to create jobs and economic opportunities.”

Coos Bay Dredging to Begin

By Karen Robes Meeks

Maintenance dredging of the Charleston Marina channel and Inner Basin in the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is expected to begin this week, according to a port announcement made earlier this month.

Dredging, which was expected to start Dec. 17 and take four to six weeks to complete, will take place mainly during day time hours and during ebb tides.

The maintenance work at the marina, which is home to more than 400 slips, will temporarily limit vessel traffic and accessibility.

For more information on accessing the Charleston Marina during that period, call 541-888-2548, or listen to CB Radio channels 13 or 16 for the latest.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Los Angeles May See 9 Million TEU for 2018

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the fifth straight month, the Port of Los Angeles handled more than 800,000 TEUs, keeping the nation’s largest seaport on pace to reach 9 million for the year.

The port moved 832,331 TEUs in November, making it the port’s sixth busiest month ever. This despite last month’s numbers reflecting a 9.9 percent decrease from the same period last year when the port moved 924,256 TEUs.

Los Angeles also saw an 8.8 percent decrease in imports down to 422,793 TEUs and a 14.3 percent slowdown in exports to 152,527 TEUs compared to the November 2017 figures.

So far this year, the port has moved 8,555,490 TEUs. The Eleonora Maersk visit to the port’s APM Terminals moving 27,846 TEUs helped reach those numbers while also establishing a North American record for a single cargo vessel, according to the port.

“In November, we processed a number of high-volume vessels brought into service to facilitate the holiday season cargo surge and accommodate the push to import cargo before tariffs that were previously scheduled to increase on Jan. 1,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we enjoy the holiday season, I’m grateful to all of our labor workforce, customers and stakeholders for the role they play in moving such a high volume of trade. As 2019 approaches, we are committed to tackling the challenges and seizing the opportunities that await.”

Long Beach Approaching Second Record Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach is on the way to a record year for the second consecutive year.

Long Beach moved 621,835 TEUs last month, 1.5 percent higher than November 2017, adding to the port’s 2018 tally of 7,349,377 TEUs. With volumes up 7.3 percent for the year, officials predict that the numbers will surpass last year’s record of 7,544,507 TEUs.

“American retailers are stocking up on goods made in China to avoid anticipated higher tariffs,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “You’re seeing the opposite effect on the other side of the ocean. Chinese businesses seem to be already looking to other countries for goods and raw materials, meaning there’s less demand for American exports and more empty containers are being shipped.”

Imports last month were also up 0.2 percent to 319,877 TEUs from the same period last year while exports fell 8.4 percent to 115,774 TEUs year over year.

“Business has been good in 2018, and we appreciate our customers for choosing the Port of Long Beach,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “While the new year may bring challenges, we remain hopeful that trade will grow, bringing more jobs and economic opportunity to this region.”

Camas-Washougal Picks Developer

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal has tapped Portland, Oregon-based Leland Consulting Group to help select a waterfront developer.

The Leland Consulting Group specializes in urban real estate, economic development, and public-private partnerships. “Their expertise in balancing rigorous analysis with candid advice for strategies that will enhance our community and create lasting value make them an ideal choice,” according to the port.

"We are very excited to be moving forward with the Leland Consulting Group," said port CEO David Ripp. "Their involvement in the Port of Vancouver's Waterfront Revitalization and like-minded vision for keeping the waterfront a thriving and vibrant destination will make for a great partnership."

The port is expected to put out a Request for Qualifications to prospective developers on Dec. 14.

For the latest on the Waterfront Development, visit

New Oakland Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Leslie is the newest member of the Port of Oakland’s Board of Port Commissioners, taking over for Earl Hamlin.

“We’re pleased to welcome a colleague to our Board with such deep roots and commitment to Oakland,” said Board President Ces Butner.

Leslie, who is the chamber’s first female president and CEO, brings 25 years of public and private sector experience, which include serving as Assistant to the City Manager during Gov. Jerry Brown’s time as mayor and as External Affairs and philanthropy for AT&T in the East Bay for more than a decade. She also worked as a Government Affairs Specialist for the Port of Oakland from 1998–1999.

“Oakland has been at the center of my professional life and it’s gratifying to return to the port in a new capacity,” Leslie said.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Coos Bay Rail to See Federal Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

An effort to rehabilitate 15 bridge structures along the Coos Bay Rail Line will soon receive a significant financial boost.

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is the recipient of a $20 million US Department of Transportation Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant, thanks to an award proposal that included 40 letters of support from port stakeholders.

The port-owned rail line stretches 134 miles through Coos, Douglas, and Lane Counties. With a $5 million match from the port, the $25 million project will repair and improve the Coos Bay Swing Span Bridge, the Siuslaw River Swing Span Bridge, the Umpqua Swing Span Bridge, the replacement of the Vaughn Viaduct near Veneta, Coalbank Slough Bridge in Coos Bay, and 10 bridges in Lane County.

“The shippers on the line directly employ close to 1,000 people throughout southwest Oregon with family wage jobs, supporting the economic fabric of our community,” the port said. “These businesses depend on rail as a competitive transportation option while ensuring adequate capacity to move goods to market.”

Redwood City Channel to be Dredged

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Army Corps of Engineers has budgeted $7.95 million toward channel dredging in the Port of Redwood City region in 2019.

“The funding of the channel dredging and federal investment into our region is great news for the Port of Redwood City, providing certainty that the Port continues to secure and expand maritime activities in the future,” said Port Commission chairwoman Lorianna Kastrop.

The Port of Redwood City is South San Francisco Bay’s only deep-water port, and the dredging will help accommodate larger ships.

“This project is significant to the economic health of the Silicon Valley region, notably the construction industry as the Port supplies construction materials to fuel construction needs locally. Additionally, dredging also supports personal water recreation use in and around the Redwood Creek Channel.”

San Pedro Clean Action Plan Meeting

By Karen Robes Meeks

Residents will have an opportunity to hear the latest on the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update on Dec. 19 in Wilmington, Calif.

Staff members from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will discuss the new Clean Truck Program, technology feasibility assessments and technology demonstrations, and information on regulatory developments.

The public will have the chance to weigh in on how the action plan should be enacted.

The meeting is set from 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 19 at the Banning’s Landing, 100 E. Water St., in Wilmington. For more information, go to

New Oakland Auditor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Santa Clara County Internal Audit Manager Rebecca Haggerty will be the Port of Oakland’s new Chief Audit Officer.

The Board of Port Commissioners recently appointed Haggerty, who will take over Acting Chief Audit Officer Katherine Buckley, who will go back to being Port Audit Manager.

Haggerty, who will oversee direct operational and financial audits for all port offices, brings longtime accounting and auditing experience to Oakland.

She has worked for Santa Clara County since 1997. Before that, she worked for the cities of Palo Alto and San Jose. In the private sector, she worked as an auditor and accountant at Deloitte in San Jose and Perisho, Tombor, Loomis and Ramirez in Campbell, Calif.

Friday, December 7, 2018

SD Dive Rescue Team Trains in Philippines

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of San Diego Harbor Police Dive Rescue Team members recently completed their second training mission to the Batangas province in the Philippines.

The team presented an eight-day course in Underwater Crime Scene Investigations to members of the Philippine National Police’s Maritime Group, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

According to the port, the team also taught skills that would help public safety divers investigate crime scenes underwater, including how to tag and recover evidence, how to recover victims and how to document crime scenes.

“It was amazing to see the growth and development throughout this course. The participating agencies sent a full complement of their best divers to participate – they were motivated and worked hard,” said Chief Mark Stainbrook, Port of San Diego Harbor Police. “After several excellent meetings with the senior leadership, it is obvious our Philippine partners are committed to developing their internal procedures and training, and we stand ready to continue to assist in the future at the State Department’s request.”

Kalama Invites Public Comment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to weigh in on a draft supplemental study that looks at the environmental impacts of the proposed Kalama Methanol Plant.

A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13 to comment on the project, which involves Northwest Innovation Works, LLC’s proposed natural gas to methanol production plant and storage facility. The draft study includes “a quantitative analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to the proposed project on a life-cycle basis,” according the Port of Kalama.

The hearing will take place at the Cowlitz County Event Center, 1900 7th Avenue in Longview, Wash, from 6 to 9 pm.

Can’t make it to the meeting? Submit comments to or mail them to Ann Farr / SEPA Responsible Official, 110 W Marine Drive, Kalama WA 98625. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. on Dec. 28.

For more, visit

New Seattle External Relations Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Pearse Edwards is the new Senior Director of External Relations at the Port of Seattle.

Edwards, who was the port’s Director of Government Relations and had been acting Senior Director of External Affairs, now will manage matters related to “government relations, community engagement, communications, regional transportation, capital project delivery, and the port’s office of social responsibility,” according to the port.

The North Carolina native brings a wealth of experience. He has worked as a policy and political advisor to Governors Gary Locke and Chris Gregoire in Washington State, and Gov. Bev Perdue in North Carolina. Prior to that, he helped privatize state-owned enterprises in his work with the International Finance Corporation in the Russian Federation.

Edwards served as Director of Communications at Microsoft and worked as an account manager at APCO Worldwide in Seattle and GMMB in Washington, D.C. He also held the position of Director of Public Affairs at Capstrat in Raleigh, NC.

“Pearse’s background is perfectly calibrated for the Port’s external relations team, which helps create economic opportunities for our region while ensuring that local businesses and residents benefit from the Port’s investments,” said port Executive Director Stephen Metruck. “His experience in Washington state, Washington, D.C., on policy issues, operating executive offices, and leading public service teams will be a great asset as the Port navigates a dynamic policy environment and advances significant economic and environmental strategies.”

New Head of Long Beach Port Real Estate

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eamonn Killeen will lead the Real Estate Division at the Port of Long Beach, it was announced this week following the approval of his promotion by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Killeen, whose appointment takes effect on Dec. 8, began at the port in 2002 as a leasing officer before becoming senior leasing officer in 2009 and assistant director of real estate in 2014. In June, he became the acting director of real estate after the previous director retired.

During his time at the Port of Long Beach, Killeen has secured lease agreements with several Port tenants and coordinated the land acquisition for high-profile projects including the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement and the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility.

In his new role, Killeen will be tasked with creating revenue through port property and facilities leases. He will also be key in enacting environmental policies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Port of Seattle’s Five-Year Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle Commission’s new 2019 budget and five-year capital investment plan call for $348 million in investment “to maximize the economic and environmental vitality of Seattle’s working waterfront in the face of significant industry changes,” the port stated in a press release.

“This forward-looking budget and five-year plan directly respond to our region’s travel, trade, and logistics needs. We prioritized efficient facilities, environmental investments, and resources to strengthen customer service and community engagement,” said Executive Director Stephen Metruck, who began leading the port in February.

The 2019-2023 plan looks at more than 20 significant maritime and economic development projects to maintain port assets, advance maritime industries, and invest in communities and the environment. Project highlights include:

• $100 million for a new cruise berth;

• $39 million to develop the Terminal 91 uplands;

• $35 million to replace a berth at Terminal 91;

• $30 million toward electrifying the waterfront,

• $23 million for the Fishermen’s Terminal Gateway Building and

• $17 million toward a Terminal 117 habitat restoration program

Through the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the port will spend $340 million to renovate Terminal 5 to better accommodate mega container vessels.

“Our aviation and maritime industries are among this region’s most recognizable and reliable sources of opportunity,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “This budget and five-year blueprint advances our region’s status as a premier global gateway and makes transformative infrastructure and environmental investments to attract future opportunities consistent with our region’s values.”

Contract Extended Between Chiquita and Hueneme

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme and longtime produce shipper Chiquita have extended their relationship with a new long-term contract. Chiquita, which began operating at the port in 2004, is a major importer of bananas, which get sent to a distribution facility in downtown Oxnard before making their way to 13 Western states.

“Our company provides direct jobs to the City of Oxnard, in addition to the hundreds of related and induced jobs which include: truck drivers, longshoremen, freight forwarders, stevedores, managers, expeditors, retailers and Ag inspectors,” said Chiquita Oxnard Facility Manager Nives de Luca. “We congratulate the Port of Hueneme on their investments to upgrade the Port’s infrastructure and equipment, allowing the Port to increase productivity and efficiency to better service the growing container trade through this niche port and community.”

Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney echoed those sentiments.

“We are proud to have Chiquita continue to call Port of Hueneme home again as a customer for another eleven years,” she said. “Their investment in our community strengthens the economic opportunity provided to our residents. When they succeed, we all succeed!”

San Diego Boat Launch Pending

By Karen Robes Meeks

According to the Port of San Diego, the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project is nearing completion. The port expects to grant public access to the boat ramp later this month, while the work on the entire project is expected to be completed in January 2019.

So far, a breakwater wall with 92 piles and 53 concrete wall panels has been completed. Both platforms linking the floating docks are in place and the new concrete ramp and connecting apron are done as well as the installation of floating docks on the eastern portion of the boat launch basin.

Once all improvements are completed, these upgrades will make the ramp safer and easier to navigate. Improvements will add 80 percent more maneuvering area in the basin, lengthening the boarding floats, putting in public docks and public walkways and updating the restroom to ADA standards.

Commissioner Named for Grays Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Tom Quigg will fill the Port of Grays Harbor’s District 2 Commission seat, the port has announced.

Quigg was selected by Commissioners Stan Pinnick and Phil Papac to take over the seat left vacant by Commissioner Jack Thompson, who passed away in October.

“We appreciate all of the highly qualified candidates that applied and truly value their interest in the Port and their enthusiasm and commitment to the future of Grays Harbor,” stated Commission President Stan Pinnick. “We look forward to welcoming Mr. Quigg to the Board and have confidence his business experience, knowledge and dedication will serve the Port and our community well.”

A lifelong Grays Harbor resident, Quigg brings marine construction and real estate experience to the role. He is a commercial and industrial real estate broker with Windermere Real Estate in Aberdeen, Wash., a founding member of the Grays Harbor Shipping Club and a board member of the Grays Harbor Community Foundation.

Quigg will be sworn in on Dec. 11 and will serve until November 2019, when he and others may seek to run for a six-year term on the commission.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Everett Passes 2019 Budget

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Everett Commission passed its $102 million budget for 2019, which includes nearly $59 million in new capital projects.

The adopted spending plan, which covers close to 100 employees, includes $25.1 million in operating/non-operating expenses, $2.1 million toward cleaning up legacy pollution on port land and $6.3 million toward long-term debt.

The budget reflects the port’s commitment to enact its strategy to modernize its seaport and develop a new community with the Waterfront Place Central Development.

In 2019, the port will fund 53 capital projects including the South Terminal Wharf and Electrical Upgrade construction, the Fisherman’s Harbor construction and the Central Marina Improvements.

The work is part of the port’s long-term Strategic Initiatives, which cover more than 145 capital projects totaling $392 million, $282 million of which are considered opportunity.

Port Police Radio Boost for Catalina

By Karen Robes Meeks

A new radio transmitter has been installed at the top of a communication tower on Catalina Island by the Los Angeles Port Police to bolster communications among first responders in the event of an emergency and during routine patrols and missions.

“Port Police officers are frequently first on the scene during emergencies, such as distressed boaters or serious falls from unstable cliffs,” said Port Police Captain Daniel Cobos, whose team oversaw the research and installation of the new transmission equipment. “This improved radio transmission and interoperability among Port officers and fellow first responders is another way we are working to protect and keep the port and our community safe.”

The new equipment helps close the gap on transmission “dead zones,” according to the port. Now the signal frequency reaches as far as Sunset Beach and Redondo Beach.

Big Car Ship Calls at West Coast

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Vancouver USA welcomed the arrival of the Monoceros Leader, a high-capacity pure car carrier built in Japan that can carry large quantity of vehicles from source to market, according to the port. The vessel maiden voyage began in October.

Owned by Nancy Ship Holding S.A. and operated by NYK Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd., the 656-foot-long Monoceros Leader has a deadweight capacity of 19,159 metric tons and can carry up to 7,100 units. The vessel stopped at the Port of Vancouver USA to unload 2,270 Subarus to be processed before traveling to other West Coast ports and ending its journey at the Port of Hueneme.

Oakland Weighs Truck Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oakland port and city officials are asking residents to consider a proposed plan to lessen the effects of trucks on local streets.

The 38-page draft West Oakland Truck Management Plan, which would be enacted quickly after adoption, seeks to lower truck traffic and parking disruptions in West Oakland – the neighborhood nearest the port. It would also make designated truck routes safer and provide truckers with preferred routes and parking restriction awareness. The complete rollout is expected to take five years.

“When the plan is implemented, the community should experience fewer trucks driving or parking in residential areas,” said City of Oakland Planner Patricia McGowan.

The plan includes new signage, pedestrian safety zones, new parking rules and more stringent parking enforcement for trucks.

“We’ve listened intently to community concerns about truck traffic in Oakland,” said Port Environmental Planner Andrea Gardner. “And the community has helped us develop a plan that will make life measurably better for our residential neighbors.”

Comments will be accepted until Jan. 4, 2019.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

FedEx Expanding at Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Portland Commission voted to authorize the sale of 38 acres at Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park to anchor tenant FedEx Ground, a move that is expected to create more jobs.

FedEx Ground chose to buy more land east of its 633,000-square-foot automated hub, where it handles about 30,000 packages per hour, according to the port.

“We continue to work with key customers in Troutdale to grow and transform the property into a thriving jobs center,” said Keith Leavitt, the Port of Portland’s chief commercial officer. “FedEx Ground is well positioned to keep building on that momentum.”

FedEx Ground first bought 78 acres at the redeveloped brownfield site a decade ago, then purchased 14.5 more acres in 2016 to meet its expanding business demands.

Long Beach Secures Funding

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach received a major grant that will help fund the $25 million “Pier G and J Double Track Access Project.”

The port was recently awarded $14 million from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which uses Senate Bill 1 and National Highway Freight Plan funds to pay for rail corridor improvements throughout the state. The remaining funds to complete the project will come from the port.

The project seeks to make operations more efficient and less traffic congested by adding a 9,000-foot departure track for trains that cater to four of Long Beach’s terminals.

“Moving goods by rail is four times more efficient than by truck, so this project would enhance our operational excellence and environmental sustainability,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero.

The project has the potential to move as many as 157,000 TEUs by on-dock rail annually while curbing as many as 615 truck trips a day, according to the port.

“The Harbor Commission welcomes the grant, which helps to modernize the Port and strengthen its ability to contribute to the regional and state economy,” said Tracy Egoscue, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Construction is set to begin in late 2019 and be completed by mid-2021.

Electric Cargo Handling at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Impact Transportation is the latest business to bring all-electric cargo-handling equipment to the Port of Oakland.

The trucking company has purchased a $275,000 battery-powered twin-axle tractor for its yard operations, the port announced last week. The tractor can operate for 12 hours on an 80-kilowatt-hour battery.

“We’re grateful to Impact Transportation for exploring battery power,” said port Associate Environmental Planner/Scientist Catherine Mukai. “The road to zero-emissions will be a long one and we need leaders to take the first step.”

Impact Transportation was able to buy the new tractor in part with a $175,000 state grant.

“We love it so far,” said Impact Transportation President Ron Cancilla. “Considering the grant and the cost to buy and maintain a diesel truck, this seemed to be a no-brainer.”

New HR Director at Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

Katie Gerard is the new senior director of human resources for the Port of Seattle.

Gerard, who comes to the port from Thurston County, Wash., where she was head of human resources, has more than 20 years of experience in human resources, said Port Executive Director Stephen P. Metruck.

“Her extensive background includes implementing innovative change across four different areas within the State of Washington, including State Parks and Recreation, Personnel, Office of Financial Management, and Department of Revenue. She was the Human Resources (HR) Director in two agencies, and Planning and Strategy Section Chief in another, providing further experience that uniquely qualifies her for this role at the port,” he said. Gerard’s hiring takes effect on Nov. 30.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Oakland Peak Season Imports Surpass 250 Thousand

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland handled 250,686 imported TEUs between August and the end of October, making it the port’s busiest peak season for imports. It outpaced the former record of 233,825 TEUs set during the same period last year.

Traditionally, the peak season is the busiest time of the year for ports because retailers ship products to stock shelves in advance of the holiday season. But strong domestic consumer spending and a shipping rush spurred by the upcoming round of tariffs on Chinese goods are also playing a factor in the increased volume, according to the port.

“We’re pleased by our peak season figures,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Now we’ll see how tariffs affect future trade flows.”

Meanwhile, Oakland moved 82,397 imported TEUs last month, a 7.4 percent jump from October 2017. It was the port’s busiest October in history.

Vancouver USA Budget Hearing

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Nov. 27 the Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commission will host a hearing, and possibly vote, on its 2019 budget.

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the draft budget, which includes more than $25 million to be spent on capital projects such as terminal-related improvements, waterfront-related projects and maintenance work on docks, buildings, equipment, water systems and more.

The meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the port’s Commission Room located at 3103 Northwest Lower River Road, Vancouver, Washington.

Comments can be mailed to 3103 Northwest Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA 98660, or emailed to

Visit for more details on the budget.

Long Beach Commission Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently approved more than $3 million for projects aimed at improving water quality in the Long Beach region.

The projects include:

• $1 million toward the city of Long Beach’s urban stormwater treatment project

• $440,000 toward the Willmore Heritage Garden Biofiltration Swale

• $1 million toward Rancho Los Cerritos: Looking Back to Advance Forward project, a permeable pavement and underground cistern

• $603,441 for a Camp Shiwaka, Long Beach Eco Parking Lot

The money comes from the Port Community Grants Program, which funds projects that ease the environmental impact of goods movement.

“As stewards of the Port, the Board of Harbor Commissioners is dedicated to environmental sustainability and social responsibility,” said Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “The Port Community Grants Program is a prime example of this commitment.”

USCG Completes its Supplemental Alaska Coverage

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard recently wrapped up its supplemental coverage of Northern Alaska with the closure of its Forward Operating location in Kotzebue. The 14-member Air Station Kodiak aircrews were stationed in Kotzebue since the beginning of July to help during the busiest period of maritime activity in Alaska’s more remote parts.

They flew a total of 330 flight hours aboard two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters including more than 75 search-and-rescue hours that saved or helped eight people, according to the Coast Guard.

"As America's interest in our Arctic Region continues to grow, the Coast Guard is committed to fulfilling our missions and supporting remote communities in this strategically valuable area," said Cmdr. Adam Merrill, the Air Station Kodiak Operations Officer. "Air Station Kodiak aircrews provided search and rescue, community relations presence, aids-to-navigation support and interagency cooperation to monitor marine wildlife stocks throughout this year's deployment season."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Long Beach Moves More Boxes

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach has shattered its October cargo record for the second straight year when it moved 705,408 TEUs, making it the port’s third-busiest month ever, according to numbers released this week. During that period, the port also handled 364,084 TEUs, up 7.4 percent from a year ago, while exports fell five percent to 119,837 TEUs.

The record volume, which is about 5.4 percent more than recorded for this period last year, is a sign of shippers’ reaction to a trade war between the US and China.

“Our higher import volumes suggest some retailers expect US consumers will be big spenders this holiday season,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Other importers are rushing shipments to beat escalating tariffs. At the same time, the trade war has clearly slowed American exports to China.”

The port is on track for record-breaking volumes in 2018. So far, the port has processed more than 6.7 million TEUs, surpassing 2017’s numbers (from January to October) by 7.9 percent.

Port of Seattle to Farm Oysters

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle is teaming up with Puget Sound Restoration Fund and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources on a new program to develop a habitat and a native oyster bed in the northern part of Smith Cove in Elliott Bay.

Under the ‘Blue Carbon’ pilot program, which seeks to use oysters as “filter feeders” to help clean ocean pollution, about one-quarter acre has been planted with over three tons of oysters, as well as salt marsh and other sea vegetation to trap dissolved carbon.

“Creating the kelp, eelgrass and shellfish beds at Smith Cove is an exciting approach to slowing climate change while also fostering habitat for wildlife and fish, including Chinook salmon,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “This pilot program reflects the port’s commitment to addressing climate change and protecting the environment.”

Port of LA Busier Than Ever

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted its busiest month in history, moving 952,554 TEUs in October, according to the latest statistics released this week. That represents a 27.2 percent spike from the same period last year and breaks the port’s previous record set in November 2017, when Los Angeles handled 924,225 TEUs.

Imports and exports also rose by double digits in October, with imports up 26.7 percent to 485,824 TEUs and exports rising 20.5 percent to 173,824 TEUs. So far, the port has moved 7.7 million TEUs this year.

“During October two of our container terminals – APM Terminals and Fenix Marine Services, formerly Eagle Marine – processed record container volumes while West Basin Container Terminals and Everport Terminal Services handled the biggest ships to ever call at those facilities,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “These robust cargo volumes equate to more jobs in the region and across the nation. We’re committed to doing our part to continue building a strong and skilled workforce for years to come.”

New Oakland IT Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

UC Berkeley systems expert Kevin Fong is the Port of Oakland’s new IT Director.

The 30-year tech veteran in systems management replaces Acting IT Director Kyle Mobley, who will go back to his position as Aviation Information Technology Manager at Oakland International Airport.

Fong served as IT Director for University Development and Alumni Relations at UC Berkeley, where he worked for 13 years.

“Kevin’s expertise covers the gamut from systems infrastructure development to cloud computing,” said Port of Oakland Acting Executive Director Danny Wan. “That background, coupled with his public-sector experience at a great university, makes him a good fit for the Port."

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Matson Reports Higher Income

By Karen Robes Meeks

Matson, Inc. recently reported $41.6 million in net income in its third quarter, higher than $34.1 million posted in third quarter 2017.

"Our performance in the quarter was in line with our expectations with Ocean Transportation results approaching the level achieved last year and continued strong execution across all service lines in Logistics,” said Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox. “We are pleased to see the exceptional performance of our Logistics segment for the quarter and year-to-date. For the quarter within Ocean Transportation, we saw a favorable rate environment in China and continued strong performance from SSAT, but we also faced unfavorable timing in fuel surcharge collections relative to fuel cost increases and lower volume in Alaska primarily due to a weaker-than-expected seafood season."

Cox said Matson expects its businesses to continue to perform well in the fourth quarter.

“(A)nd, as a result, we are raising our outlook for Ocean Transportation and maintaining our outlook for Logistics,” Cox said. “For the full year 2018, we expect Ocean Transportation operating income to be modestly higher than the level achieved in 2017. For the full year 2018 in Logistics, we are maintaining our higher outlook for operating income given the strong trends across all service lines."

Hybrid Tug for Foss

By Karen Robes Meeks

A Dolphin Class tugboat from Foss is expected to begin servicing in Alaska this week. Foss is transferring the Bering Wind tugboat – formerly the Campbell Foss – from Long Beach, California, to Cook Inlet Tug & Barge in Anchorage this month.

Two Series II Caterpillar engines and twin Rolls Royce US 205 FP Z drives power this tugboat, giving her more than 135 tons of pulling power, according to Foss. “The addition of the Bering Wind to our Anchorage based fleet of tugs will improve our current level of service in the Port,” said Ben Stevens, president of Cook Inlet Tug and Barge. “It will also ensure safe port operations can be conducted during the anticipated Port revitalization project which will commence in spring of 2019.”

Built in 2005 by Foss, the tugboat was one of first in the industry to be outfitted with hybrid power in 2011.

“We are extremely proud of the role that this ground-breaking vessel has had in our fleet – it has been one of the gems of our operations,” said John Parrott, CEO of Cook Inlet Tug and Barge parent company Foss Maritime. “We are very excited to see her becoming a vital part of the Alaska maritime economy.”

Seattle Sees More than a Million Cruise Passengers

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the second straight year, the Port of Seattle has surpassed the 1 million mark for cruise passengers.

The port, which began serving the cruise industry two decades ago, saw more than 1.1 million revenue passengers enter its cruise terminals this year. It beats last year’s number of 1.07 million revenue passengers.

The number of passengers is expected to swell in 2019 with the arrival of the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas, which carries 4,180 passengers.

“This year, Port of Seattle is proud to celebrate our 20 years of serving the cruise industry, while also handling over one-million passengers for the second year in a row,” said Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “This continued growth points to a bright future for cruise in Seattle, and we are proud that each homeported cruise vessel brings approximately $2.7 million for our local economy. Through innovation and collaboration, we continue to work with our partners to make this the greenest port in the nation.”

Oakland Expecting Container Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland is closing in on its third consecutive year of record imported container volume this year, despite the escalation of tariffs between the US and China.

Oakland, which plans to release its October numbers this week, says its imports are up 2.7 percent from 2017 and is seeing a 5 percent spike in imports from China this year.

How long the growth will continue was a point of discussion with the port’s Efficiency Task Force, a gathering of 40 trade and transportation leaders that meet quarterly.

The group, which met last week, surmised that the cargo volumes could fall by January. The trends of late – the crowded warehouses, the additional voyages to Transpacific routes and reported of record cargo growth since summer along West Coast ports – may mean shippers are pushing up orders in advance of new tariffs on imported Chinese goods that may take effect in January.

Other factors, such as strong US economy and peak season push to stock shelves for the holidays, also come into play.

“Imports are a good story, but the reason for the growth is still something of a mystery,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We suspect frontloading is part of the answer.”

Friday, November 9, 2018

Healy Wraps Up Arctic Mission

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Coast Guard Cutter Healy crewmembers recently finished their second mission of its Arctic West Summer 2018 deployment.

About 100 of Healy’s crew and 30 scientists and engineers left Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Sept. 14 to learn more about stratified ocean dynamics in the Arctic for the Office of Naval Research. Understanding these environmental factors may help better predict ice coverage in the region.

The Healy, a 420-foot icebreaker homebased in Seattle, Washington, was made for these kinds of missions.

“The Healy is the only vessel we operate as a country that can get us this far into the ice,” said Dr. Craig Lee of the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, Seattle. “If we wanted to come this far up north, we need to have an icebreaker. For the Arctic, the Healy is the only choice other than chartering a vessel from another country.”

Everett to See Federal Funds

By Karen Robes Meeks

Two major infrastructure projects that are key to the Port of Everett’s Seaport Modernization efforts received a financial boost, thanks to the Port Commission’s $5.949 million approval of the Federal Rail Rehabilitation Improvement Financing Loan with the US Department of Transportation Build America Bureau.

According to the port, the now-completed Terminal Rail Improvements Phase II and the Cargo Transit Shed Relocation Project increase the port’s on-terminal rail footprint from 9,200 lineal feet to 12,500 lineal feet and provides nearly 40,000 square feet of covered warehouse space for rail loading.

“Completing critical infrastructure upgrades like this will better position the Port and its facilities to handle the larger vessels and heavier cargoes and other opportunities on the horizon,” Port Commission President Glen Bachman.

US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee praised the port’s work in getting the funding.

“I’ve been proud to work with the Port of Everett to secure federal investments to ensure the Port continues to meet the demands of the 21st century economy, and I’m thrilled to see the federal government bring even more resources to the table,” Murray said. “This investment will help complete vital modernization projects and support an important economic hub in Washington state.”

LA Port Police Add Defibrillators

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Los Angeles Port Police has increased its emergency capabilities by adding automated external defibrillators (AED) in all its patrol and specialty vehicles.

The addition of 50 devices augments the several dozen already in strategic locations all over the port, an initiative that started in 2012. Other locations with AEDs include the World Cruise Center Terminal, the LA Harbor Department Administration Building, the Port Pilot Station, the USS IOWA and the Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center.

“When someone has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest or is non-responsive for other reasons, quick access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death,” said Port Police Chief Tom Gazsi. “Our officers now have life-changing equipment right in their vehicles, which provides an added measure of readiness to our Port community, workers and employees, as well as residents and visitors.”

Hueneme Philanthropy

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme, ILWU Local 46, Chiquita and El Lustrador Foundation are teaming up for the “Fill the Chiquita Container Challenge,” a philanthropic effort that aim to stuff a shipping container with new or gently used clothes, shoes and supplies.

The challenge benefits those helped by the El Lustrador Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2016 by author René Corado that assists the underprivileged in Guatemala. The organization also provides scholarships and education to Guatemalan youths and their families and work with US school districts to provide guidance to Latino youth in the community.

Donations may be dropped off until Dec. 15 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Port of Hueneme Admin Building located at 333 Ponoma Street, Port Hueneme.

For more information on the challenge contact 805-488-3677 or Visit for more details about the foundation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Satsop Manager Honored

By Karen Robes Meeks

Satsop Business Park Manager of Business Development Alissa Shay was named to the South Sound Business Magazine’s 2018 class of 40 Under 40.

“It is an honor to be working to create more job opportunities for people in our region while helping existing port customers be successful in Grays Harbor,” Shay said. “I am proud of the work we do to help make Grays Harbor a prosperous and vibrant community.”

Shay started her career at the port in 2013 following more than five years as a city planner for the city of Hoquiam.

In her current position, Shay has helmed the recruitment of Xpress Natural Gas,’s Customer Care Call Center and Fuller Hill Development Co., who in total employ more than 350 people at the park.

“Alissa is most deserving of this honor and we are proud of all she has accomplished during her tenure,” said Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson. “I am confident the port and the community will continue to benefit from her leadership and experience as her career continues to flourish.”

Bellingham to See Regular Ship Calls

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bellingham Shipping Terminal will now be welcoming cargo ships on a regular basis, thanks to a new three-year service contract between the port and Ports America.

Ports America, which began talks with the port after many of its shipping customers asked about Bellingham Shipping Terminal, will have under the new contract “exclusive stevedoring rights for certain types of steel as well as inbound international forest products, metal/aluminum ingots, modules, oversized and project cargoes,” according to the port.

“There is a great deal favoring the Bellingham Shipping Terminal,” said Ports America Director of Breakbulk and Project Cargo Bart Goedhard. “In addition to abundant berth space, warehouse and laydown space, the terminal is near major cities, has a dedicated truck corridor to I-5 and has close proximity to rail.”

This is a major turning point for the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, said Port Commission President Ken Bell.

“As the last Pacific Northwest seaport between the United States and Canada, it was only a matter of time before cargo operators recognized the Bellingham Shipping Terminal as a congestion-free alternative to the docks and terminals serving Vancouver and Seattle,” Bell said. “Increased cargo activity at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal will create jobs and stimulate economic activity throughout Whatcom County.”

Container Explosion Investigated

By Karen Robes Meeks

A combustible fuel or other compound may have caused the explosion of a sealed shipping container inside a terminal storage area at the Port of Los Angeles, according to an initial analysis by the Los Angeles Port Police Hazardous Materials Unit, Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad and United States Coast Guard.

Authorities continue to investigate the incident in which more than 100 people were evacuated from Evergreen Shipping terminal Tuesday.

No one was reported to be hurt from the explosion, which occurred shortly after 5:58 p.m.

The 40-foot container bound for Taiwan had been delivered earlier that day with 11 others from a recycling facility on Terminal Island.

The port said the container carried “clean scrap iron or heavy melting scrap only” and was not marked to have hazardous materials.

Port police officials plan to review procedures at the recycling facility while the Coast Guard will review its Facility Security Plan.

Coos Bay Rail Line Open for Business

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay’s subsidiary, Coos Bay Rail Line, Inc. kicked off operations this week.

The port-owned rail line launched on Nov. 1. The project came to fruition following a discussion with a third-party operator who told the port in December 2017 that it wanted to divest its relationship with the port.

To make the project a reality, the port bought $4 million worth of locomotives and other materials, as well as hire 15 new staff members to manage daily operations. More than $60 million has been spent on the line’s infrastructure.

The new rail line gives the port better commercial exposure and customer service and allows the port to leverage its resources.

“For over a century, the port has worked to further its mission to promote sustainable economic development for the region and State,” said Port CEO John Burns. “In assuming an operational role, the port is preserving a transportation option that is integral to the economic fabric of the area. We (port) seek to enhance operation of the rail line by offering an increased level of customer service, coordination, and communication for our customers while preserving critical jobs within our community.”

Friday, November 2, 2018

New Matson Marshall Islands Service

By Karen Robes Meeks

In a move to lower cargo transit times by as many as eight days, Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. has started a new direct service between Honolulu and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The company has acquired a 700-TEU vessel with two 45-ton onboard cranes for the new service, which will visit ports in Kwajalein, Ebeye and Majuro every 17 days. The vessel is expected to arrive at Kwajalein on Nov. 3.

"Matson has been consistently rated the No. 1 ocean carrier in the world because of its commitment to operating the fastest and most reliable service in the markets we serve," said Matson Chief Commercial Officer John Lauer. “We are excited to bring US flag service and shorter transit times from the US West Coast to Kwajalein, Ebeye and Majuro.”

Hueneme Sets New Cargo Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme handled 1.6 million tons of cargo in fiscal year 2018, an “all-time high” for import and export movement at the port.

That represents an 8.1 percent jump from last year’s 1.48 million cargo tons and beats the 1.56 million cargo tons record set in fiscal year 2015, according to the port.

“This has been a tremendous year for our Port community, with more cargo than ever before passing through our seaport,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney, who announced the record year at a recent Board of Commissioners meeting.

“This is a testament to the collaboration between our customers, community partners, and stakeholders to move cargo in the most efficient ways possible,” she said.

The port – which serves as the West Coast hub for the Chiquita, Del Monte and One Banana brands – is attributing the record to rises in almost all cargo imports and exports, including a 50 percent spike in pineapples and melons and a five percent jump in banana imports.

“A five percent increase in banana imports may not sound like a big deal, but when you take into account that we import over 3.3 billion bananas a year, that percentage increase can make a significant impact on our overall cargo tonnage,” said Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jason Hodge. “And we’ve done this all while leading the industry in environmental initiatives and being named the Greenest Port in the United States.”

Long Beach Community Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

About 130 groups aimed at supporting the arts, the environment and historic preservation have been awarded a total of $463,750 in community sponsorship grants from the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

They include the Friends of the Los Angeles River, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation, Su Casa’s Gala of Light and Willmore City Heritage Association’s Winter in Willmore Snow Day.

“Supporting organizations that make our diverse city a great place to live and work is just one of the ways the Harbor Commission seeks to contribute to our community,” said Board of Harbor Commissioners President Tracy Egoscue. “We’re proud that we have the opportunity to interact with the public and bring awareness of the important role the Port plays in this region.”

Port of Seattle Endorses Carbon Tax

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle Commission has formally endorsed Washington State Initiative 1631, which would charge a carbon “pollution fee” on greenhouse gas pollutants sources and pay for efforts to curb pollution, promote clean energy, and address climate impacts.

The statewide initiative is in line with the port’s environmental goals and its Century Agenda to be “the greenest and most energy efficient port in North America.”

"For these reasons, the Port of Seattle welcomes the opportunity to be part of the broad coalition of supporters who strongly endorse the adoption of Initiative Measure No. 1631. We look forward to working with the state and legislative leaders who will ultimately decide how best to fund the reduction of harmful emissions and to help further our state’s leadership in establishing a path toward a sustainable future, an extract from the Port of Seattle Commission’s statement in support of motion 2018-13 read.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Subarus Reach Hueneme

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme received its first shipment of Subaru autos imported from Japan this month, thanks to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions (WWS) as they brought the business to the Southern California port.

The processing of the new imported cargo will take place at the WWS facility on Hueneme Road at Edison Drive. The move, which allows WWS to better serve regional markets, including Southern California, Nevada and New Mexico, will add 35 new full-time and 25 new part-time local jobs, according to the port.

“WWS has been a long-time customer of the port, and we will continue to work with them to increase opportunity for growth,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney. “The more our customers see these growth opportunities, the more good paying jobs we see being created for our local residents.”

Grays Harbor Begins Search for Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

The search to fill the Port of Grays Harbor District 2 Commissioner seat left vacant following the sudden passing of Jack Thompson began on Oct. 29.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 9. Candidates must include proof of voter registration within Grays Harbor County District 2 and proof of residency from the Grays Harbor County Auditor’s Office. Complete application can be submitted by sending an email to or delivering it in person to either the port’s main office located at 111 S. Wooding Street, Aberdeen, WA 98520 or to the Westport Marina’s main office located at 326 Lamb Street, Westport, WA 98595.

The commission will meet on Nov. 13 to review candidates’ qualifications. Finalists will be interviewed at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 26 during a Special Commission meeting. The commission is expected to vote to select a candidate on Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. This short-term appointment will run until the next port regular scheduled election in November 2019. At that point, the elected candidate will serve a full-term through Dec. 31, 2023.

Visit for more information on the commission process and application procedure.

Matson Announces Dividend

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based carrier Matson, Inc.’s Board of Directors recently announced a fourth quarter dividend of $0.21 per common share, which is expected to be paid on Dec. 6 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 8, according to the company.

Established in 1882, Matson Inc. provides services to Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam, and to other island economies in Micronesia. It also operates services from China to Southern California and to Okinawa, Japan as well as various islands in the South Pacific.

Matson Logistics, founded in 1987, broadens the reach of the company's transportation network throughout the continental US with its integrated, asset-light logistics services.

Columbia River Sheen Investigation

By Karen Robes Meeks

Members of the US Coast Guard, the Washington Department of Ecology and Oregon Department of Environment Quality investigated what appeared to be a large sheen on the Columbia River.

According to the Coast Guard, the sheen may have originated near Kalama, Wash. It was first discovered by crew at the Temco grain terminal and that of the 193-foot hopper dredge Yaquina.

Boats were deployed to collect samples and track the movement and size of the sheen, which had traveled down the river before reaching Longview and stretched about three miles long.

“The information from both overflights indicates to responders that the source is no longer actively discharging into the river. Responders assessed the oil in the water and determined it is too thin to recover, as well as confirmed it is dissipating,” according to the agency.

The Coast Guard pointed out that area wildlife did not appear to be distressed.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Polar Star Out of Drydock

By Karen Robes Meeks

The new and improved US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star – the nation’s only operational heavy icebreaker – has returned to Seattle, Wash., after six months at Mare Island Dry Dock in Vallejo, California. The 42-year-old icebreaker receive extensive work to its engineering and electronic systems.

Polar Star’s repairs and upgrades will make it ready to support Operation Deep Freeze 2019, the US military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation managed US Antarctic Program, according to the Coast Guard.

“We successfully accomplished an annual dry dock availability valued at over $7.6 million,” stated Lt. Cmdr. Chris Pelar, Polar Star’s engineering officer. “More than 50 work items were completed while in dry dock. We will complete remaining maintenance requirements in Seattle before departing for our upcoming Antarctic deployment.”

Polar Star is a 399-foot, 13,000-ton cutter that can break through up to 21-feet thick ice to clear the way for supply ships to reach Antarctica’s logistics hub, McMurdo Station, Scott-Amundsen South Pole Station and other international bases, according to the Coast Guard.

Los Angeles Improving On-Dock Rail

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles is moving forward with the Terminal Island Railyard Enhancement Project, which is expected to strengthen on-dock rail operations and cargo flow efficiency.

The expansion seeks to add more than 31,000 linear feet of track and increase the number of storage tracks from six to 11. It will also raise the Pier 400 on-dock rail yard capacity by up to 525,000 TEUs annually – a 10 percent overall capacity increase for the port.

The $34 million project is partially funded through a $21.6 million grant from the State Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – Trade Corridor Enhancement Program. The remaining $12.4 million will come from the port.

“Expanding this rail yard creates a ripple effect of intermodal efficiencies within the Port of Los Angeles and throughout the entire San Pedro Bay port complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “It is a key element of regional and state transportation plans to improve safety and traffic conditions along some of our nation’s most crowded commuter and freight corridors.”

Boosting Pier 400 on-dock rail yard’s use and capacity will mean lowering truck trips to off-dock yards located 11 to 27 miles away from the port. The expanded rail yard has the potential to take an estimated 1,250 truck trips off the road per day by 2040, according to the port.

Oakland TraPac Adds Night Operations

By Karen Robes Meeks

In an effort to alleviate daytime congestion and speed up cargo delivery, the Port of Oakland’s second biggest terminal, TraPac, is adding a full-service night gates option. Harbor truck drivers can now pick up and drop off between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

This will replace the twice weekly night gates that only offered freight movers limited transactions.

“We are getting ahead of the demand,” said TraPac Operations Vice President Brian Bauer. “Drivers, cargo owners and carriers associated with TraPac will see improved performance and know we are ready for growth.”

Under the new program, drivers will be able to pick up or drop off import, export and empty containers. Through Oct. 26, appointments to pick up imports will be required. Beginning Oct. 29, appointment will be needed for imports, exports and the return of empty containers. Empty containers can be picked up at any time.

Starting Oct. 29, a $30 fee will be charged on all loaded containers during day and night shifts to offset the cost of expanding hours. Loaded containers departing TraPac by rail will not have to pay the extra fee.

Camas-Washougal Marina Thefts

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal is asking tenants to be mindful of their boats and to report suspicious activity. Three boats were stolen from the marina in the last two months.

A video security camera system caught masked individuals on tape. The suspects are believed to be professional thieves who appeared to be familiar with the marina. The boats were taken between 10:30 p.m. and midnight in the D, I and J rows, according to the port.

“Every boat is a potential target,” said Port CEO David Ripp. “Safety and security for out tenants is our main priority. Making it hard to steal a boat from the marina is another. Chaining your boat to the dock is an option. If we need to move a locked boat in an emergency, we will cut the lock and replace it at our cost.”

Contact the port at 360-835-2196 for more information.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New Oakland Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Architect and civic leader Yui Hay Lee is the Port of Oakland’s newest member of the Board of Port Commissioners.

The president and CEO of Oakland-based YHLA Architects was sworn into the seven-member board Thursday, replacing Alan Yee, who served eight years before his board term expired.

“We’re delighted to welcome Yui Hay Lee to our Board,” said President Ces Butner. “He brings a strong business background, exceptional planning and development experience and a commitment to the community.” Lee is well known in the community, previously serving on the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum Authority, the Oakland Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board and the Oakland Planning Commission.

“I’m honored to join the Port Commission during these exciting times,” said Lee. “Port business continues to grow and provide opportunities that benefit the entire region.”

Talk to the Port of Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to the Port of Long Beach’s “Let’s Talk Port” event on Oct. 24.

The community forum – which will feature a presentation, displays and opportunities for one-on-one with port officials and consultants – will allow folks to weigh in on the Port Master Plan, which has not been updated since 1990. The plan, which maps out the port’s long-term goals for land use and development, will need to consider changes in technology, the shipping industry and other factors.

The event will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st Street in Long Beach, California.

Reserve your spot by Oct. 23 at Contact Jocelin Padilla at or 562-283-7722.

Visit for more details on the Master Plan Update.

Port of Bellingham to Rely on Wind and Solar for Power

By Karen Robes Meeks

In an effort to lower its carbon footprint, the Port of Bellingham is partnering with Puget Sound Energy to buy all of its power from wind and solar sources.

The port has inked an 18-year agreement with the energy company to become part of the Green Direct program so qualified customers can buy electricity created by renewable resources.

The program seeks long-term commitments from agencies and businesses and that demand incentivizes the development of wind and solar facilities. Puget Sound Energy has been able to ink a power purchase agreement with a wind energy developer in Lewis County that will begin in 2019. Also, a solar project – the biggest to be built in the state at over 120 MW – is anticipated to go online in South-Central Washington in 2021.

“The Port of Bellingham is pleased to provide statewide leadership supporting renewable energy, while promoting clean technology manufacturing and employment” said Port Commissioner Michael Shepard. “As the second public port in Washington State to participate in Green Direct, the Port of Bellingham will source 100 percent of its electricity from wind and solar energy production. Our commitment to renewable energy complements our ongoing environmental sustainability efforts, which include energy conservation, habitat restoration and cleanup of contaminated sites.”

AAPA President Retiring

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 33 years leading the American Association of Port Authorities, AAPA President and CEO Kurt J. Nagle will retire this fall.

Nagle started at AAPA as the membership services director in 1985 before taking the reins 10 years later. During his tenure, he guided the organization that now represents140 seaport authorities in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

“It’s been an honor to serve the public ports in the Western Hemisphere and a privilege to work with so many dedicated professionals,” said Nagle. “This industry is blessed with professionals willing to share their experiences and lessons-learned with their colleagues, and to collaborate on common challenges and policy issues. This positive and beneficial culture, along with the wonderful professional staff here at AAPA, have made it a pleasure to be a part of this great industry.”

Friday, October 19, 2018

Grays Harbor Commissioner Dies

By Karen Robes Meeks

Longtime Port of Grays Harbor Commissioner Jack Thompson passed away on Oct. 4. He was in Chile attending the American Association of Port Authorities’ 107th Annual Convention when he fell and sustained a head injury on Sept 30.

“The sudden and devastating passing of Commissioner Thompson is a tremendous loss that will be felt throughout the Port community and beyond,” Executive Director Gary Nelson said. “On behalf of our entire port family, we extend our deepest condolences to Commissioner Thompson’s family during this difficult time.”

Thompson, who became a port commissioner in 1994, was serving his fifth term as District 2’s representative and was one of the longest-serving commissioners in port history. He played a role in diversifying the port’s cargo business, helping to draw more jobs to the area and supporting long-term tenants.

“Jack’s leadership, wisdom and service to his community will be deeply missed and never forgotten,” Nelson said. “His legacy of economic development and job creation will live on throughout our community and the port industry. We would also like to thank the staff of AAPA, the Port of Valparaiso, the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Department of Commerce for providing support and resources during this difficult time.” In accordance with state law, the commission is expected to fill the vacancy within 90 days.

PierPass Upgrade Coming

By Karen Robes Meeks

PierPass 2.0 – a new version of the extended gate hours program at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – is expected to launch on Nov. 19, according to members of the West Coast MTO Agreement.

Subject to the conclusion of applicable Federal Maritime Commission procedures, PierPass 2.0 improves upon its OffPeak program to ease truck traffic at the nation’s two busiest seaports by moving from the current congestion-pricing model to an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

Instead of picking up cargo during weekday daytime hours, PierPass 2.0 users can collect their containers at any hour.

The new version isn’t expected to cause too much disruption since nine of the ports’ dozen terminals and the trucking companies that serve them are already using appointment systems. As for the three remaining terminals, SSA Marine intends to put in place its own appointment systems before PierPass 2.0 is implemented.

In order to make the update happen, the terminals have agreed to common appointment windows and common last appointment times for each shift. Terminals may even consider uniform rules and procedures in the program to maximize efficiencies.

Visit for more details on PierPass and to register.

PIL to Call at Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time since 2014, Pacific International Lines (PIL) is calling at the Northwest Seaport Alliance harbor.

PIL’s Kota Pekarang debuted Oct. 6 at The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s North Harbor in Seattle. It will make a weekly call at SSA Marine’s Terminal 30 as part of the America China Service, which will also travel to Lianyungang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Long Beach and Lianyungang.

“The Northwest Seaport Alliance is proud to welcome PIL’s weekly service to our gateway,” said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. “We are committed to ensuring our quality service will help PIL grow their cargo here in the Northwest to support even more local jobs.”

The 1,100-foot-long Kota Pekarang can hold close to 12,000 TEUs.

“PIL is excited to expand our Seattle-area market presence,” said Ernie Kuo, senior vice president of PIL USA Agency Services. “Servicing more than 500 locations in 95 countries, PIL recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. We look forward to our continued close partnerships long into the future.”

Strong Month for Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted its strongest September in history, moving 801,264 TEUs. That’s a 4.9 percent jump from the same period last year, according to port statistics released this week.

The port also handled 6.6 percent more imports accounting for 414,281 TEUs and increased exports by 14.5 percent to 147,000 TEUs.

“Volumes remain strong with shippers importing holiday season inventories and manufacturers bringing supplies and materials in advance of additional cost impacts from tariffs,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our robust numbers are a reflection of the confidence cargo owners have in our efficiency, regional warehousing options, and speed-to-market capabilities. As we enter the final quarter of 2018, we continue to partner with stakeholders on an array of projects to enhance our infrastructure and operations.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Long Beach to Develop Microgrid

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach will develop a $7.1 million microgrid at its Joint Command and Control Center.

Schneider Electric will develop and create the microgrid. The project will also include a workforce development training component in partnership with Long Beach City College and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

According to the port, the project – funded in part through a $5 million California Energy Commission grant – will include the building of a solar carport, a stationary storage system and a mobile storage system that can be deployed in the event of an outage at the port replacing diesel generators.

“Ensuring a stable supply of energy is crucial to the zero-emissions future the Harbor Commission envisions for the Port of Long Beach,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Tracy Egoscue.

Long Beach will gather and analyze data from the microgrid demonstration over a 12-month period and share that information with other California seaports.

“Our terminals are increasingly using electric equipment to move cargo and we will need to build more energy resiliency into these operations,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “This project will help us learn more about how to keep the power, and cargo, flowing.”

Busy September for Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland handled 168,289 imported TEUs in September beating its previous 2006 record of 158,320 TEUs.

This is a five percent increase from the same period last year. It follows a record August, which posted a 9.2 percent increase over August 2017. Oakland is on track to record its best peak season numbers.

Officials attribute the great import numbers to a strong domestic economy and consumer spending.

“We’re encouraged by this outcome and guardedly optimistic that the trend will continue throughout peak season,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Economic indicators lead us to believe that import volumes should remain healthy.”

Cutter Active Seizes $87 Million

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard Cutter Active returned home to Port Angeles, Washington, on Friday, October 12 following a 50-day counter-drug enforcement assignment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. During that period, the 75-crew members intercepted three suspected smuggling ships, stopping the flow of 5,794 pounds of drugs valued at more than $87 million.

Active was supported by an Air Station Port Angeles aircrew and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter for most of the patrol while two members of the Chilean Navy were aboard for the deployment.

The 210-foot Cutter Active, which operate under the tactical Coast Guard District Eleven’s control, supports the Joint Interagency Task Force-South. It handles nine of the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions, which include search and rescue, drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement and homeland security.

Port of Olympia Seeks Citizen Volunteers

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia Commission is looking for residents who wish to serve on its Citizens Advisory Committee.

The group is comprised of nine to 13 volunteers who gather monthly to provide recommendations to the Port Commission. Members may be asked to participate, in collaboration with staff, in various port programs and projects.

Applicants must live in Thurston County. Factors such as work, volunteer, board or committee experience, knowledge of the port and reasons for serving will be considered. Application must be received by Nov. 5.

Interviews will be conducted by the Port Commission President, the Interim Executive Director and the Chair of the committee. Recommendations will be forwarded to the commission in mid-December.

Visit for more information.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Long Beach Containers Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach handled more than eight million TEUs this fiscal year ending Sept. 30, a 10.7 percent jump from the same period last year, according to the latest port’s numbers.

Even though volumes were flat, the port handled 701,204 TEUs, making it its second-busiest September ever. Meanwhile, imports fell 2.5 percent to 357,301 TEUs and exports dipped three percent to 121,561 TEUs.

“We are poised to break our calendar year record at the end of December,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Despite the tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing, international trade is showing resilience, and at our Port we are providing a conduit for commerce that’s efficient for our customers and getting their cargo to destinations faster, saving them money.”

Eagle to Soar at Camas-Washougal

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal will unveil a large bronze eagle statue on a pedestal in a special ceremony on Oct. 24. The 10-foot-tall piece created by artist Heather Soderberg-Green will be dedicated at 11 a.m. at the Washougal Waterfront Park, located at 56 South 1st Street in Washougal, Washington.

"We are very excited to bring to the community this beautiful bronze sculpture," said David Ripp, port executive director. "Art is such an integral part of our community and its rich history."

For more information about the event, call Executive Assistant Yvette Winden at 360-835-8098 or email

Comments Solicited on Kilisut Harbor Bridge

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Coast Guard officials are asking the public to provide input on a Washington State Department of Transportation proposal to build a replacement bridge across Kilisut Harbor in Jefferson County.

The transportation agency wants to take out the current bridge, which consists of two culverts and causeway, and put in a new non-moveable bridge made of four, 110-foot long spans and supported by three bents. For more information visit

To weigh in on the project, contact the bridge administrator Steve Fischer via email at or call 206-220-7282 by no later than Oct. 31.

Port of San Diego Commuter Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) recently honored the Port of San Diego with a Gold Tier iCommute Diamond Award for Excellence in Commute Programs for Fiscal Year 2018.

The award spotlights area employers who enact alternative commute programs. During the 2018 fiscal year, the port hosted and promoted a Bike to Work Day, took part in National Rideshare Week, set up an informational booth at the port’s annual Health & Sustainability Fair for employees and offered an alternative workweek schedule and reimbursements for workers who use public transit and vanpools.

“We are honored to be recognized by SANDAG for our efforts to encourage Port employees to take alternative and environmentally friendly modes of transportation,” said Rafael Castellanos, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “Among our many Green Port initiatives, our participation in the iCommute Diamond Awards Program is a no-brainer. Not only does it mean cleaner air for the San Diego region, but it will also help us meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals established in our Climate Action Plan.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Port of San Diego Reeling from Cyber Attack

By Karen Robes Meeks

In a statement release on October 4, the Port of San Diego confirmed that it is still recovering from a cybersecurity attack that occurred Sept. 25.

Chief Executive Officer Randa Coniglio said that the port “remains open for business and operations are continuing in the wake of a cybersecurity incident.”

“Since the incident was first reported, our port has handled calls from seven cruise ships and 10 cargo ships, processed biweekly payroll, and continued public safety operations as usual,” Coniglio said, adding that the Board of Port Commissioners will meet on Oct. 9 for its regular scheduled meeting.

“As this incident mainly impacted internal administrative functions, our services to our tenants and stakeholders have been generally uninterrupted, with the following minor exceptions: park permits cannot be accepted online, and public records requests in some cases are taking longer than usual to process,” Coniglio said. “Public records continue to be provided in accordance with legal requirements. I appreciate the public's patience as we continue our recovery from this incident.”

Proposed Bridgework

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Coast Guard officials are asking the maritime stakeholders to weigh in on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. plan to construct a movable railroad bridge across Salmon Bay near Ballard Locks in Seattle, Wash.

The input will help the Coast Guard set the horizontal and vertical navigation requirements for the proposed bridge set to replace the current unlimited vertical clearance bascule bridge. The proposed vertical-lift bridge will have a finite vertical clearance which should be able to accommodate present and future vessels.

Comments must be submitted by Oct. 31 and sent to Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District by email at or by calling the bridge administrator’s office at 206-220-7282 or 7234.

Hueneme Gets CARB Funding

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme secured $3 million from the California Air Resources Board toward its ship-to-shore energy project, part of a joint application with the Port of Los Angeles. Hueneme port will match $200,000 in funding toward the project.

“This type of funding allows our ports to continue to lead the world in reducing emissions and implementing green initiatives,” said Mary Anne Rooney, president of the Oxnard Harbor District. “It was a pleasure to partner with the Port of Los Angeles on this application, as it is a great example of how two ports, two air districts, two counties, and various private partners can come together to make real positive impacts for our environment and local communities.”

Besides two electric yard trucks, the grant will fund the infrastructure needed to make charging electric cargo handling equipment possible, according to the port.

“The projects funded by this grant will lay the foundation for the next phase of green infrastructure and equipment at the port, which will support electric cranes, electric cargo handling equipment, and a hydrogen-fuel-cell truck dedicated to moving our customer’s fresh produce to the marketplace,” said Port Director and CEO Kristin Decas. “You will be seeing zero-emission avocados, bananas, and pineapples coming out of the Port soon!”

Longview Commissioner Baagason Resigns

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Longview Board Commission Vice-President Bob Baagason, who represents the 3rd Commission since being elected in 2007, turned in a formal resignation effective Sept. 30.

“Over the past ten-plus years, we accomplished a lot – including materially increasing the port’s revenue position with our cutting-edge grain terminal, improving the port’s economic impact within the community and significantly reducing property taxes to residents of the port district,” said Baagason. “It is a lasting legacy that I am proud to have had a role in.”

The commission now has 90 days to appoint a replacement. His term was set to expire at the end of 2019.

Friday, October 5, 2018

$50 Million to Test Zero Emissions

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently secured a $50 million grant from the California Air Resources Board to demonstrate a zero-emissions supply chain.

The port will test close to 100 pieces of zero-emissions terminal equipment and trucks at the ports of Long Beach, Oakland and Stockton, as well as create a near-zero emissions tugboat, deploy two clean ships and push workforce development programs.

“The Board of Harbor Commissioners envision a zero-emissions future in Long Beach,” said Board President Tracy Egoscue. “This project accelerates the commercialization for the technology we need to get there, incorporating seaports, terminal operators, equipment manufacturers, schools and universities from all around the state. The Harbor Commission is very thankful to the California Air Resources Board for seeing the potential in this project.”

The grant funds:
• Thirty-three zero-emissions yard tractors and one top handler
at Pier C
• Five electric trucks at Shippers Transport
• Two charging outlets at the Clean Trucks Program Center
• Two Matson container vessels with Tier 3 engines, and
• Harley Marine electric-drive tugboats

The demonstration will see a clean ship come to SSA Marine Pier C lead by an electric-drive tugboat and then plug into shore power. Battery-electric yard tractors and top handler cargo-handling equipment will move the cargo off the ship and put it on an electric truck to Shippers Transport, an off-dock container yard.

Oakland will receive nearly $9 million to be allocated toward 10 battery-powered trucks for port tenant Shippers Transport Express and five zero-emission yard trucks. The port also plans to invest up to $2 million toward building battery-changing stations.

“Our goal is to minimize the impact of containerized freight transportation on air quality,” said Richard Sinkoff, director of environmental programs and planning at the Port. “Zero-emission vehicles play a big role in that effort.”

The $102 million overall project is expected to be completed by June 2021 and includes $52 million in private and public matching funds.

Redwood City PortFest

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Redwood City is celebrating the waterfront with a free all-day community event on Oct. 6.

PortFest 2018 starts at 10 a.m. with a welcome ceremony featuring the Moffett Squadron Sea Cadet Color Guard, the West Bay Community Band, while Rep. Jackie Speier and Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain will address the crowd. Shortly after the ceremony, the Redwood City Fire Department Fireboat Sequoia Guardian will perform a water cannon display.

Festivities will also include live music, food trucks and booths, boat rides, children’s activities and other displays. The History Museum Woodside Store’s special interactive logging experience exhibit will celebrate the port’s history as a logging port in the 1800s.

Don’t miss the 45-minute harbor tours aboard the Robert G. Brownlee, as well as Working Waterfront tours and the opportunity to ride in a 16-person rowing barge.

PortFest runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Port of Redwood City waterfront on Seaport Court at Seaport Blvd.

Visit for more information.

Fish and Wildlife Personnel Evacuated

By Karen Robes Meeks

Four US Fish and Wildlife personnel have been evacuated off Johnston Atoll on Monday before the arrival of Hurricane Walaka, according to the US Coast Guard.

The four members of a field biology crew were working out of a year-round field camp on the Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. They were picked up by a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point.

"Johnston Atoll is extremely remote and difficult to reach. Our resources place us in a position to lend assistance to our partners with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and we are glad [to] help,” said Capt. Robert Hendrickson, chief of response, Coast Guard 14th District. “We encourage anyone operating in the Pacific to keep an eye on the weather as this storm moves toward the Northwest Hawaiian Islands."

Johnston Atoll is in the central Pacific Ocean, between the Hawaiian Islands and the Line Islands.

"The safety of our staff and volunteers is always our primary concern," said Laura Beauregard, acting Refuge and Monument Supervisor for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. "We are grateful to our partners, US Coast Guard, for their assistance getting our folks back to Honolulu from one of the most remote field camps in the Pacific."