Friday, August 10, 2018

Matson Reports Quarterly Gains

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. recently reported a net income of $32.6 million, or $0.76 per diluted share in the second quarter, higher than the $24.0 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, registered during the same period last year.

Consolidated revenue for the second quarter of 2018 reached $557.1 million compared to $512.5 million recorded in 2017.

"Our performance in the quarter was solid with Ocean Transportation's results approaching the level achieved last year and continued strong results across all service lines in logistics," said Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox.

Cox added that Matson will continue to expect improvements in each of its core trade lanes except for Guam and China.

“In Guam, we expect to face continued competitive pressure, and in China we continue to expect modestly lower volume coming off an exceptionally strong 2017,” Cox said. “We continue to expect Ocean Transportation's full year 2018 operating income to be modestly higher than the level achieved in 2017. For 2018 in logistics, we are raising our outlook for the year given the strong trends across all service lines.”

Longview Seeks Applications for Board

By Karen Robes Meeks

A new District #2 representative and a Willow Grove resident are needed for the Port of Longview Board’s Park Advisory Committee, which helps guide Willow Grove Park and Boat Launch improvements.

The Park Advisory Committee includes five community members: one Willow Grove resident, one education/student representative and one member from each of the three Port District areas. Although the Port Commission Board of Commissioners makes the final decision on the park, the volunteer committee serves in an advisory role and makes recommendations to the board.

“We are eager to fill these important roles as we make additional improvements to the Park and Boat Launch next year,” said Commission President Jeff Wilson.

Visit for more details.

San Francisco Seeks Input in Historic Preservation

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Francisco is seeking input to enhance public uses of the facilities in the Embarcadero Historic District, a first step in preserving and rehabilitating the historic structures.

The San Francisco Port Commission recently released a Request for Interest (RFI) for “public-oriented concepts for the historic facilities” located between Pier 35 and Pier 48. These include 13 historic piers and the Agriculture Building that are all in need of rehabilitation along The Embarcadero.

“A key goal of the Port Commission is to create an accessible waterfront for everyone to enjoy,” said Port Commission President Kimberly Brandon. “The RFI will allow us to hear concepts from prospective and current Port tenants to help us create a world-class experience that draws people to the waterfront again and again.”

“We welcome over 24 million people to our waterfront each year and we are determined to ensure all of our historic facilities are accessible to the public,” said Port Executive Director Elaine Forbes. “Through the Waterfront Land Use Plan Update process, we’ve heard loud and clear from the public that they want access to our piers, and that they love the waterfront’s many public-facing businesses. The RFI is our chance to call for new concepts from smaller businesses and master tenants. We welcome feedback that will help us find the financially feasible investment to rebuild piers, in coordination with the Embarcadero Seawall Program, and to ensure our waterfront is safe and accessible for our future generations.”

The RFI process deadline is October 31.

Lynden Transport Wins Logistics Award

Lynden Transport was awarded its sixth consecutive No. 1 ranking and its 22nd overall award in the 35th annual Logistics Management Quest for Quality Awards. The company received the highest scores among Less-than-Truckload (LTL) western regional carriers in the on-time performance and information technology categories and topped the overall weighted scores. Lynden International also achieved strong results in the airfreight category, earning its 16th Quest for Quality award.

"We work hard every day to be the best of the best and, for the 22nd time, we're honored our customers have recognized us with a Quest for Quality Award. We are incredibly humbled to be ranked at the top for six years in a row," says Lynden Transport President Paul Grimaldi. "The credit goes to our dedicated drivers, customer service representatives, support staff, and the entire Lynden Transport team. We intend to keep the momentum going by continuing to provide the Lynden brand of service to our customers."

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Long Beach to Decide on Toyota Power Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is expected to decide on Toyota Logistics Services’ proposal to redesign its facility at Pier B and build a renewable 2.3-megawatt fuel-cell power plant and hydrogen fueling station with dedicated pumps for hydrogen.

Toyota – which operates a terminal for receiving, handling and transporting its vehicles off-site by truck or rail – wants to make operations more efficient by consolidating office, car washing, fueling, auto body and other spaces into one location.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on August 13 at the Port's Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive in Long Beach. It can also be viewed live and recorded at

Northwest Seaport Alliance Awards Trade

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) plans to honor outstanding business and environment achievement within the Seattle-Tacoma gateway with its new North Star Awards.

NWSA tenants, shippers and supply chain partners, stakeholders, non-profit organizations are all eligible for this recognition. The awards will feature the Cargo Anchor Award, which honors long-term businesses that also promote trade and economic development in the area, and the Environmental Sustainability Award, which spotlights innovation and adaptive measures that support the continued health of the Puget Sound region’s environment, while promoting trade and economic development.

The deadline for nomination is 5 p.m. on Friday, August 17. Visit for more information.

Vancouver USA Dedicates Rail Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA recently dedicated its $251 million West Vancouver Freight Access Project. This concludes the decade-long rail project that officials hope will ease congestion and bring efficiency to users by improving rail movement of freight through the port and along the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad mainlines that link the Pacific Northwest to hubs in Chicago and Houston, and from Canada to Mexico.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of the West Vancouver Freight Access Project,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “Whether we’re talking about how the project reduces rail congestion on the mainline and expands our capacity to 400,000 rail cars per year, or how it supported thousands of family-wage jobs during design, engineering and construction – as well as jobs for the future – this has been a critical project with far-reaching benefits for our community, region and nation. We’re very proud to celebrate WVFA’s completion today with our staff and contractors, and many of the partners who helped us make this project and its benefits a reality.”

The project is already inspiring private investment from port tenants and neighbors such as United Grain Corp., Great Western Malting and Farwest Steel.

Over $200 million in private funds have been spent to modernize facilities and equipment, and capitalize on the increase of rail capacity, according to the port.

14th USCG District Issues Subchapter M COI

By Karen Robes Meeks

On August 2, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu issued a Certificate of Inspection (COI) to towing vessel Namahoe, the first to be issued in Coast Guard 14th District since new inspection regulations were enacted nationally July 20.

The new regulations apply to Subchapter M towing vessels, which fall under any towing vessel larger than 26 feet. About 58 area vessels will need to get the new Certificate of Inspection.

“Now the regulations are a little more in depth,” said Chief Warrant Officer Bryan M. Anderson, a marine inspector with Sector Honolulu. “The Coast Guard and the towing vessel industry worked very closely together to establish new towing vessel regulations for construction, engineering, life-saving, firefighting and manning the vessel.”

Friday, August 3, 2018

New APL Chassis Partner

By Karen Robes Meeks

American Intermodal Management (AIM) has recently announced a new partnership with APL in which AIM will provide a fleet of new technology-equipped chassis for APL’s new Eagle Express X (EXX) service.

AIM, which has assets in Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle, said the partnership with APL allows the company to continue moving the needle on a “differentiated service model by combining high quality assets with landside visibility to deliver a new spin on chassis provisioning.”

“AIM is very excited to partner with APL in support of their new EXX product,” said AIM’s Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel Seeds. “We believe AIM’s intelligent chassis will be vital component to APL’s EXX premier service capability.”

Eco-Friendly Pilings for Hueneme

By Karen Robes Meeks

Slated to start this summer, a new harbor deepening project at the Port of Hueneme will be built with eco-friendly, non-chemically treated pilings manufactured by Bedford Technology.

Jesse W. Hooge, director of Sales Training & Multi-X Sales at Bedford Technology, said the company’s products are engineered from recycled plastic into “a sustainable building material that is built for generations to come.”

“This project alone will divert over 1.5 million pounds of HDPE plastic out of the landfill and help support the Port of Hueneme’s environmental and sustainability initiatives,” Hooge added.

“These new eco-friendly pilings will help support and reinforce the Port’s South Terminal as the Harbor is dredged from 35 feet to 40 feet deep over the next several months”, said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney. “The deepening project will allow our existing customers to load their ships with more cargo, thus increasing efficiency and reducing air emissions all while creating more family sustaining jobs for our local community; 563 jobs to be specific.”

Port of LA Technology Contest

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Antwerp in Belgium will host this fall an international “Hackathon”, a technology contest formed under the chainPORT initiative.

Launched in 2015, chainPORT was established by a dozen ports to link ports digitally all over the world, discuss the best ways to handle the biggest container vessels and make the maritime supply chain more efficient.

“Ports must continue to incorporate the latest and most promising technologies in order to remain competitive in today’s dynamic global supply chain environment,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “The Port of Los Angeles is pleased to host a Hackathon for the third consecutive year and we look forward to seeing the ideas that emerge from this unique and unconventional approach to technology development.”

The competition, slated for October 11-13, 2018, will run simultaneously in both cities and include participants from around the world.

The Hackathon in Los Angeles will take place at the USC Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management. Industry professionals, students and coaches are invited to take part.

Visit or email for more details.

Dole, San Diego Promote “Sustainable” Equipment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego and the San Diego Port Tenants Association recently celebrated the arrival of Dole Fresh Fruit’s new sustainable-freight vehicles. Their electric-powered semi-trucks and forklifts are coming online at the port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

“The San Diego region is known worldwide for its innovation and the Port of San Diego is demonstrating leadership in the maritime industrial sector with these sustainable-freight vehicles,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “I want to thank and recognize the San Diego Port Tenants Association for its teamwork in securing this important grant funding to assist five local businesses in operating cleaner and greener.”

The vehicles were funded through a $5.9 million California Energy Commission grant given to the San Diego Port Tenants Association.

“The Port of San Diego is a champion of the environment and we work closely with the California Energy Commission and our partner businesses to make their operations sustainable through cutting-edge technology like these sustainable-freight vehicles,” said Port Chairman Rafael Castellanos. “I am especially proud of the San Diego Port Tenants Association’s work to ensure that our tenants benefit from state funding for innovative projects. These businesses are good corporate citizens and forces for environmental change.”

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

New Long Beach Commission President

By Karen Robes Meeks

Attorney Tracy Egoscue is the new president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, the five-member board that governs the Port of Long Beach.

“I am honored to be afforded this opportunity by my fellow Commissioners,” Egoscue said. “I look forward to working with each individually as well as collectively as we pursue what is best for the Port and the City of Long Beach.”

Egoscue, who owns Long Beach environmental law firm the Egoscue Law Group Inc., previously served as a California Deputy Attorney General. Mayor Robert Garcia appointed her to the board in 2014; last year, she served as board vice president.

The commission also selected former state lawmaker Bonnie Lowenthal as board vice president and real estate business owner Frank Colonna as board secretary. Both are former Long Beach City Council members.

Los Angeles to Welcome Norwegian Joy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Next winter, the Port of Los Angeles will be welcoming Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy, a nearly 4,000-passenger vessel that will be cruising the Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal markets.

The Norwegian Joy, which was built last year, is expected to receive $50 million worth of enhancement work before it comes to Los Angeles, where it will be able to plug into electrical shore power, according to the port.

“We’re extremely pleased that Norwegian Joy will be calling at the Los Angeles World Cruise Center,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This newly enhanced, world-class vessel will be extremely popular as the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal re-emerge as premier cruise destinations. It will also offer a great new convenient departure option for Southern California.”

Vancouver USA to Hold Strategic Plan Workshops

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA will host a special workshop on August 2 to examine the draft goals of the revamped strategic plan.

The port commissioners, which have hosted a series of workshops since launching the update process last October, plan to review public comments, talk about the strategies created based upon community and port staff input, and see a draft outline of the final plan.

The final proposal is expected to be presented to the board on August 14 and the commission could adopt the final plan on September 11.

The upcoming workshop begins at 1:30 p.m. at the port’s administrative offices, 3103 Northwest Lower River Road, Vancouver. Visit for more details. There will be no public forum for comments during the meeting. Interested parties can weigh in by emailing and submitting written comments to 3103 Northwest Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA 98660.

Olympia Celebrates Five Years with Sister Marina

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Olympia’s Swantown Marina & Boatworks and Shin-Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor Hyogo, Prefecture, Japan, recently commemorated the fifth anniversary of their “Sister Marina” relationship, a bond created in 2013 to celebrate the 50th milestone of Hyogo, Prefecture, Japan and Washington being sister states.

Port Commissioner Bill McGregor and staff were joined by Shin-Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor President Shoji Sakai and Chief Manager Toshihiro Kuroki to mark the occasion. A tour of the marina and a lunch preceded a signing ceremony at the Capitol to commemorate the 55th Sister State anniversary.

“We are reaffirming our agreement to exchange information on the development of our marina services and operations, and share knowledge and activities on environmental stewardship, and at the heart of this agreement is our cultural exchange to promote mutual understanding and further relations between the citizens of Japan and the United States,” McGregor said.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Hawaii Receives Marine Highway Designation

By Karen Robes Meeks

Hawaii received its first Marine Highway designation earlier this month, allowing the Hawaii Department of Transportation to be part of America’s Marine Highways program, which gives federal resources that will enhance more efficient cargo movement through Hawaii’s commercial harbors.

At a ceremony at Pier 38 at Honolulu Harbor, Gov. David Ige received a certificate from the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation that officially names the waters around and between the Hawaiian Islands as Marine Highway “MH-1.”

“It is an honor to support this collaborative initiative between MARAD and the HDOT Harbors Division, and to acknowledge that this Marine Highway is Hawaii’s lifeline,” said Lauren Brand, MARAD’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Ports & Waterways. “This designation, awarded by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, complements the ongoing Harbors Modernization Plan.”

Ige and state transportation leaders also revealed the official name of the new route: The Daniel K. Akaka Marine Highway, named after the late senator.

“It is a great privilege to honor Senator Akaka and know his service to the people of our State will continue as the Daniel K. Akaka Marine Highway benefits and enhances the port system we all depend on,” Ige said.

Port of Los Angeles “Friends” Italian Ports

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Los Angeles strengthened its bond with its coastal European counterparts when it inked a "Friendship Agreement" with the Port Network Authority of the Central Tyrrhenian Sea, the port announced.

The July 10 agreement with the Port Network Authority, which encompasses the ports of Naples, Salerno and Castellammare di Stabia, is designed to nurture business ties and economic cooperation and enhance trade and tourism between the US and Italy, according to the port.

With this agreement, the Los Angeles port now has 17 sister and friendship port agreements with ports all over the world.

Oakland Breaks Container Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Oakland handled 87,207 imported TEUs last month, a record-breaking month for the Northern California port that topped last July’s record of 84,835 containers, according to latest numbers.

Imports rose 8.7 percent last month compared to June 2017, which the port credits to a strong peak season and a stronger push by importers to move goods ahead of tariffs being enacted this month by U.S. and China.

“Retailers have been forecasting a good peak season for containerized imports, so June’s numbers weren’t surprising,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But there’s uncertainty over the international trade picture, so we’re taking a wait-and-see approach.”

While it’s too early to forecast the impact of these latest tariff increases, the port says that if they had been imposed last year, about $225 million of China imports would have been affected.

Vancouver USA Wins AAPA Awards

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA won four 2018 Communications Competition awards from the American Association of Port Authorities.

The port nabbed an Award of Excellence for its 2017 Virtual Holiday Card; Awards of Distinction for its Community Report and “Connecting with the Community” social media campaign and an Award of Merit for its Jobs & Economic Impact video.

“Much of the port’s work happens behind the scenes in industrial centers and marine terminals – areas people usually don’t see unless they happen to work there,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “This can make it challenging to connect with our community in a meaningful way, but our staff continues to do great work, using a variety of tools to reach community members where they are and making it interesting and engaging.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Oakland Aiming for Zero Emissions

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland announced on Wednesday, that it is in the process of making cargo operations at the port free of emissions with a “bold and ambitious” Draft Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan.

The 30-page document proposes several initiatives, from implementing electric trucks and putting in new infrastructure to encourage more vessels to plug in at berths.

“Achieving a zero-emissions seaport will take years, requiring substantial investments in transformative technology, new infrastructure and equipment,” said Richard Sinkoff, director of environmental programs and planning at the port and principal architect of its clean-air plan. “But we are 100 percent committed to eliminating emissions related to the movement of containerized trade, wherever and as soon as we can.”

Public meetings to discuss the proposal are expected in the fall, with a final plan in place by the end of the year.

Portland to Keep Intermodal Rail Service

By Karen Robes Meeks

Encouraged by the growth of rail container movement through Terminal 6, the Port of Portland plans to keep its BNSF Railway service through mid-2019.

The service, which began in January, give shippers at the terminal more options to move freight between Portland and the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, where cargo such as wood, hay and other products is loaded on vessels bound for international destinations.

“In addition to our continued work to attract weekly carrier service, moving products by rail is proving to be a successful way to assist shippers in our region,” said Keith Leavitt, chief commercial officer at the Port of Portland. “The rail is also a time-saving alternative for some shippers, who face delays from truck congestion at ports to the north.”

Alcatraz Ferry Project Moves Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

The new Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation Project at Piers 31-33 will move forward on The Embarcadero at Bay Street.

The San Francisco Port Commission approved the plan following years of talks between the port and the National Park Service.

“Our waterfront attracts more than 24 million people annually and is vital to the economy of our city,” said Mayor Mark Farrell. “Investing in the Alcatraz landing will help improve the safety and security of our residents and visitors while ensuring the economic well-being of San Francisco.”

The project is expected to cost about $34 million, with the ferry concessioner investing $30 million and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy contributing $4 million.

“I’m thrilled that the Alcatraz Project is moving forward with private and public investment that will benefit the residents and Port of San Francisco,” said Port Commission President Kimberly Brandon. “Not only will the Project make our waterfront more valuable, it will retain and improve an important city and port visitor destination that will provide revenue for services that residents across the city rely on.”

Improvements are set for completion by 2024, according to the port.

San Diego Port Retail Space on the Market

By Karen Robes Meeks

RI Properties, Inc. beat out four others to list and market vacant retail space at Seaport Village at the Port of San Diego for at least the next three years.

RI will fill vacancies at the 90,000-square-foot shopping and dining center on an as needed basis while plans to redevelop the Central Embarcadero are underway. Port commissioners in late 2016 chose 1HWY1 and its “Seaport San Diego” concept to transform the Central Embarcadero, which includes Seaport Village.

After Seaport Village’s lease ends on September 30, Protea Property Management, Inc. will manage the 14-acre destination on the San Diego bayfront south of Tuna Harbor on the port’s behalf.

Friday, July 20, 2018

CARB Sets Sights on Hydrogen Power

By Karen Robes Meeks

A $5.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will be used to bring online hydrogen- and electric-powered cargo-handling equipment to two shipping terminals at the Port of Long Beach.

SSA Marine’s Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J will demonstrate two battery-electric cargo-moving vehicles known as “top handlers” while Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier E will test out one hydrogen fuel-cell yard tractor, one battery-electric top handler and one battery-electric yard tractor. The project will provide an opportunity for a head-to-head comparison between the hydrogen fuel cell and battery-electric systems.

“Our partnerships with the California Air Resources Board and other agencies provide crucial funding for these vital demonstration projects as we work to create a zero-emissions seaport,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director, Mario Cordero.

“The progress we’ve made in reducing pollution is a model for seaports everywhere, with diesel emissions alone down almost 90 percent since we adopted the Clean Air Action Plan in 2005,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Still, we are not satisfied. This equipment will further contribute to a cleaner environment for our neighboring communities.”

Equipment testing is expected to begin next year.

New Oakland Commission President

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cestra ‘Ces’ Butner will be the new president of the Port of Oakland’s seven-member Board of Port Commissioners, succeeding Joan Story who will remain as commissioner.

This is Butner’s second term as president, as he previously served from July 2013 to July 2014.

“I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the Board and I’m eager to continue serving the Port,” said Butner, who first joined the board in 2012. “We’ll work with the staff to grow the Port’s business for the benefit of our community.”

Butner founded Oakland-based Horizon Beverage and has served on the boards of the East Bay YMCA and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He will assume his new role on July 26.

Los Angeles Volumes Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles handled 723,141 TEUs last month, a 1.1 percent dip compared to June 2017. Meanwhile, imports rose 2.9 percent to 382,964 TEUs and exports were up 1.4 percent to 147,563 TEUs, according to the latest numbers released Tuesday.

The port has surpassed the 9.1 million TEUs for the second consecutive fiscal year.

“We closed our fiscal year on June 30 with 9,169,779 million TEUs,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The consistently high container throughput over the past 24 months speaks to our unmatched capabilities, and we are grateful to our terminals, labor force and supply chain partners for their efforts that made this milestone possible.

“Looking forward, a continued shuffling of alliance services in the San Pedro Bay, coupled with potential impacts from recently imposed tariffs, provide a level of uncertainty and potentially softened trade flows through our port during the second half of 2018,” Seroka noted.

Coast Guard Rescues Plane Crash Survivors

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eleven people have been rescued after surviving a floatplane crash on Mount Jumbo, on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.

The crew of a US Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was able to safely hoist all 11 from the side of a mountain and carry them to a staging area. Temsco Helicopters transported them to Ketchikan.

“I am proud of everyone involved in this rescue and that we were able to get all 11 people to safety in a timely manner,” said Cmdr. Michael Kahle, Coast Guard Sector Juneau search and rescue mission coordinator. “Cases like these exemplify the versatility of our aircrews and how capable they are to expertly perform rescues from the ocean or even mountainsides.”

Everyone on board the floatplane sustained minor injuries, but were in good condition, according to the Coast Guard.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Best Month Ever for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its best month in history last June, according to numbers released Friday.

The nation’s second busiest seaport handled 752,188 TEUs, which is 14.2 percent more than June 2017 and 4.4 percent above July 2017, the port’s record-setting month. Long Beach also moved 384,095 TEUs in imports, a 14.5 percent jump from the same period last year, and 135,168 TEUs in exports, a 14.3 percent increase. Empty containers also rose 13.6 percent to 232,926 TEUs.

“We’re pleased to see cargo moving efficiently, even as record volumes continue,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “With the Port getting ready to enter the peak season and retailers replenishing their stocks for the holidays, it’s great to see these volumes and the smooth flow of goods.” So far this year, the Long Beach port has processed close to four million TEUs, which is close to 14.5 percent higher than the 2017’s pace.

The port also handled nearly 2.1 million TEUs in the second quarter, making it its busiest second quarter since 2006.

“We are on track to beat our historic pace from 2017,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The domestic and global economies are good, which is why we’re seeing all of this activity. Certainly, the escalating trade tensions have everyone in the industry concerned, but we’re going to continue to provide excellent customer service and fulfill our mission of facilitating commerce.”

Alaska Coast Guard Rescues 13-Year-Old

By Karen Robes Meeks

A 13-year-old girl was rescued last Tuesday on Kruzof Island in Alaska’s Shelikof Bay by the US Coast Guard Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew.

The girl’s aunt and uncle notified authorities after they did not see her kayaking in Shelikof Bay. Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders diverted the helicopter crew to help in the search.

The kayak was spotted on the shore and the crew found the girl on some rocks before hoisting and returning her to her family at North Beach on Kruzof Island, according to the Coast Guard.

"Even on a beautiful day the water temperature can be life threatening,” said Lt. Mick Klakring, one of the Jayhawk pilots on the case. “Thankfully this young lady was wearing a life jacket, which may have made the difference in the outcome. We are very happy we could find her and relocate her with family staying at Shelikof Bay to enjoy the Fourth of July."

According to the Coast Guard, those using paddle crafts should wear a life jacket, dress for the water temperature, take a personal locator beacon, a satellite or cell phone and file a float plan with friends and family in case of emergency.

Hueneme Earns Eighth Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the eighth straight year, the Port of Hueneme has earned a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awards its certificate to agencies whose Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is considered outstanding.

“We are honored to accept this Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the eighth consecutive year,” said Mary Anne Rooney, Oxnard Harbor District President. “This award affirms our administration’s commitment to the highest standards of accurate and transparent reporting and continues to build community trust in the port.”

Port Deputy Executive Director and CFO Andrew Palomares credited the district staff’s hard work of readying the report for earning the recognition.

“It takes a team effort from all departments to put forth a comprehensive and complete CAFR,” he said. “This type of organization-wide effort is indicative of just how seriously the district takes the fiscal responsibility we have to the cities and communities within our boundaries. I am especially proud of the District’s Accounting Department who work all year long maintaining top-notch record keeping for the District.”

Oakland Celebrates Relationship with Japan

By Karen Robes Meeks

To acknowledge the Port of Oakland’s 30th anniversary of being a sister port with Port of Hakata, Executive Director Chris Lytle recently spoke of the importance of bolstering its business relationship with Japan and opportunities to nurture it.

“It’s extremely critical for us to have good, strong free trade partners such as Japan,” Lytle said to visitors from the Port of Hakata. “Japan is a very large and very important part of our business.”

After China, Japan is Oakland’s next biggest trade partner with roughly $2.6 billion in containerized cargo moving between the two ports in 2017 alone.

“Everything from machinery to lithium batteries for electric cars is imported to Oakland from Japan,” Lytle said. “This is very high-value cargo and we would like to see it grow.”

Opportunities to strengthen that business bond could come as quickly as next month when Cool Port Oakland, the $90 million refrigerated storage and distribution facility comes online.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Tours Port of Vancouver, USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently visited the Port of Vancouver USA and met with local leaders as part of his Back to Our Roots Tour, which started July 2 in Spokane, Washington. Purdue toured the port’s grain terminal and a Tidewater Barge Lines tug and barge at the port’s Berth 4.

“From 465 miles inland into the United States, for our farmer-producers all the way in Idaho (to) ship out of this port…it’s a great advantage to America, really, to have this kind of infrastructure,” Perdue said.

About half of USA wheat that comes from inland farms travels the Columbia-Snake River System to international markets. The port alone handles 10 percent of the nation’s wheat annually and is the second-biggest steel importer on the U.S. West Coast.

Port-related activities are a significant financial generator for the region, accounting for 20,200 jobs and $2.9 billion in economic benefit.

“It was an honor to host Secretary Perdue at the Port of Vancouver and in our community,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “We appreciated the opportunity to share the great work happening here on the Columbia River as well as some of our concerns about trade and agriculture, which are critical issues for communities and workers across Washington State.”

Everett Approves Infrastructure Contract

By Karen Robes Meeks

The final phase of upland public infrastructure within the Port of Everett’s Fisherman’s Harbor district of Waterfront Place will move forward, thanks to a $3.7 million agreement with Granite Construction.

The Port of Everett Commission recently approved the contract with Granite for building the new SE Millwright Loop and open spaces, which will allow for more road access from Fisherman’s Harbor to the Port’s Central Docks and the future Waterfront Place.

The project, set to start later this month, also calls for a new marina parking lot, a link from the new Fisherman's Harbor esplanade to the existing esplanade along the Central Docks’ north side, and a new public space between the future 142-room Hotel Indigo and the new Pacific Rim Plaza and splash fountain, according to the port.

Fisherman’s Harbor is expected to open in mid-2019.

“This is an exciting time for our community,” Port Commissioner Bruce Fingarson said. “By this time next year, the highly anticipated Fisherman’s Harbor will officially open for all to enjoy, providing access to the waterfront’s newest central gathering space at Pacific Rim Plaza, new lodging and dining at Hotel Indigo, and shortly thereafter, new housing and restaurant opportunities.”

Matson Earnings Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Matson, Inc.’s Board of Directors recently announced a third quarter dividend of $0.21 per common share, which represents a one-cent (or five percent) increase over the dividend from the prior quarter.

“We are pleased to announce an increase to our quarterly dividend in the third quarter for the sixth consecutive year, underscoring our Board's confidence in the long-term prospects for our businesses and commitment to rewarding shareholders through dividends,” said Matt Cox, Matson's chairman and chief executive officer. “While we expect leverage to increase as our fleet and infrastructure investments in Hawaii progress, our healthy balance sheet, strong operating cash flows, and continued access to attractive financing sources provide ample capacity to fund the fleet renewal and related infrastructure, consider growth investments, and return capital to shareholders.”

The dividend will be allocated to all shareholders on September 6.

Oakland Budget Approved

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland commissioners recently approved a $494.2 million spending plan for the 2019 fiscal year, including $34.7 million for capital projects.

The budget, which accounts for the port’s aviation, commercial real estate and maritime businesses, is about $40 million less than last fiscal year as 2018 spending plan included major improvement to the Oakland International Airport’s International Arrivals Building and renovation to the main runway.

The port plans to ask the commission for as much as $92 million in additional capital funding this year.

The Oakland port is a major economic force, supporting over 73,000 jobs in the region and close to 827,000 jobs throughout the country.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

New Grays Harbor Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Phil Papac has been chosen to take on the next Port of Grays Harbor District 1 Commission seat after Commissioner Chuck Caldwell vacates the post at the end of this month.

Commissioners Jack Thompson and Stan Pinnick made the selection at a special commission meeting held recently.

“It was great to see so many candidates passionate about the Port and the future of Grays Harbor apply,” Pinnick said. “We are excited to welcome Mr. Papac to the Board and feel his commitment, experience and abilities will be an asset to the Port and our community.”

A lifelong Montesano resident, Papac is a father of two and a longtime restaurant operator who served on the Montesano Parks Board for 20 years. He also co-chaired two successful school levies and is heavily involved in youth sports, including a 20-year career as a local basketball referee.

Papac is expected to be sworn in on August 14 and will serve the rest of Caldwell’s term, which will be up for election in November 2019. At that time, the position – a six-year term – will be up for grabs.

California Ports Seek Federal Oversight

By Karen Robes Meeks

At a recent Pacific Trade Association event, top leaders at the ports of Long Beach and Oakland said that government support is needed to continue efforts to grow the marine industry economically while being environmentally astute. “In California, we have the cleanest ports in the world,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, who helmed Long Beach’s port before coming to Oakland. “But we could use help if we’re going to do more.”

Mario Cordero, former chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, echoed that sentiment. “We’ll be as successful as government support allows us to be,” he said.

Both spoke about individual efforts to lower emissions that stem from port operations and the investments being made to handle larger vessels and more cargo.

But federal policy could further assist these efforts, whether it’s nationwide clean air regulations to bring other ports up to par to California standards as Lytle suggested, or a national freight policy to prioritize port infrastructure as Cordero noted.

Everett Celebrates Port Centennial

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett is celebrating its centennial with a series of events and memorabilia.

The port, whose birthday is officially on Friday, July 13, has published a commemorative book that details its history through stories, illustrations and more than 300 photographs. Visit for more details.

To kick-off the celebration, a mural depicting the port’s past, present and future is expected to be unveiled on Thursday, July 12, in the port’s Waterfront Center lobby near the entrance of Scuttlebutt restaurant. The mural, created by local artist Sherrill Hull, was made possible through a partnership with Economic Alliance Snohomish County and the port.

On Saturday, the port will host a day of festivities, starting with a breakfast and the inaugural Port Beat 5K Fun Run along the waterfront trail. The event will give the public an opportunity to peek at Fisherman’s Harbor and the new Pacific Rim Plaza and splash fountain.

Fill the afternoon with an historic bus tour and later in the day go to Boxcar Park to view the Maritime Parade and partake in the festivities hosted by One World Lantern Festival. A photo booth will be available, so visitors can commemorate the birthday. End the day by placing mementoes into a centennial time capsule that will be opened in 2068.

“Today, as we celebrate our centennial year, we would like to thank the early residents of the Port District for believing in the value that the Port of Everett would bring to the community so long ago,” Port of Everett Acting CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “Most importantly, we want to thank our current Port District residents for their continued appreciation and support of our work today. We encourage you to come out to enjoy your Port and celebrate with us. We have a lot of events planned around the waterfront for all to enjoy and have pulled together some great projects to commemorate our Port history.”

The complete schedule can be found at

New Young Bros. Tug

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first of four new tugs built for independent Foss Maritime subsidiary Young Brothers will soon be in service in Hawaii. It will be docked in Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i.

Designed by Damen USA and constructed by Louisiana-based Conrad Shipyard, the Kāpena Jack Young is designed to make operations more efficient and sustainable.

“The four new Kāpena class tugs, represent our future while honoring our past,” said Joe Boivin, new president of Young Brothers. “Once in service, the age of our fleet will be reduced from an average age of 44 years to 12 years young. The new tugs reinforce our commitment to safety, environmental stewardship and customer service.”

The tug produces 6,000 horsepower and is powered by “General Electric 8L250MDC—state-of-the-art EPA Tier IV emissions compliant exhaust gas re-circulation engines, according to Foss.

“I’m very impressed with the work that has been done by Conrad Shipyards and Damen USA in the delivery of the first of our four new, state-of-the-art, Tier 4 tugs,” said John Parrott, president and CEO of Foss Maritime. “We worked with Young Brothers to research various tug hull designs, engines, and towing equipment options. The construction of these new tugs supports Young Brothers in providing reliable, affordable and frequent services throughout the Hawaiian Islands—now and in the future.”

Friday, July 6, 2018

San Pedro Ports to Tighten Truck Age Restrictions

By Karen Robes Meeks

To speed up air pollution reduction efforts, new drayage trucks coming to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach this fall will have to be a 2014 model year or newer.

The governing bodies for both ports recently passed the initial tariff change, which is expected to receive final approval in July and slated to take effect on October 1.

The new rule, however, would only apply to trucks not currently in the Ports Drayage Truck Registry – about 50 percent of trucks in the registry are 2010 model year and newer. Presently, drayage trucks that come to the twin ports must be 2007 model year or newer.

This move is the first of several to be made by the ports under the latest version of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), an outline of initiatives to clear the pollution generated by those that operate at the ports. Passed in November, the 2017 CAAP Update features more stringent pollution-curbing efforts, including a goal to have zero-emissions trucks by 2035.

Visit for more details.

Daniel K. Inouye Christened

By Karen Robes Meeks

On June 30, Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. and Philly Shipyard, Inc. christened the M/V Daniel K. Inouye, one of two new vessels being built by the company.

"This is a proud day for all of us at Matson," said Matson's Chairman and CEO Matt Cox at the shipyard ceremony. "Over our first 136 years, Matson's fleet has evolved from sailing ships to larger steamers to diesel power, consistent with changes in technology and always evolving in step with the needs of a growing Hawaii economy.”

Named after the late US Senator representing Hawaii, the 850-foot long Daniel K. Inouye is faster, can transport up to 3,600 TEU and features modern eco-friendly technology.

"This new vessel, designed specifically to serve Hawaii and built with LNG-compatible engines, is the next generation of vessel and sets a new standard for cargo transportation in Hawaii,” Cox said. “It also symbolizes Matson's continuing commitment to serving our Island home in the most efficient, effective and environmentally sound way into the future.”

New Wharfinger at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eric Napralla has recently been named Chief Wharfinger of the Port of Oakland, taking over for Chris Peterson who retired after 25 years at the port.

Napralla, who has been with Oakland for six years, will be tasked with overseeing seaport operations ranging from tenant relationships to facilities leasing. He will be leading a group of four Wharfingers and a Senior Maritime Project Manager who work with 60 port tenants, according to the port.

“Eric brings a wealth of experience to the job,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “He has successfully managed important programs and projects within the Maritime Operations group and we’re pleased that he’s taking on this new assignment.”

Napralla previously served as a senior project administrator in the port’s Operations Department. He also worked for the Port of Redwood City and served four years in the US Coast Guard.

Carnival Returns to San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in seven years, Carnival Cruise Line will be returning to the Port of San Diego with the arrival of the 963-foot long Carnival Miracle.

Starting December 1, 2019, Carnival Miracle will offer 10 voyages from the Port of San Diego, launching with a seven-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera featuring stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.

“The Port of San Diego is thrilled to welcome Carnival Cruise Line back,” said Rafael Castellanos, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “The partnership between the port and Carnival offers cruisers more travel options while providing even more economic benefit to the region.”

Other Carnival offerings include a pair of 15-day special Carnival Journeys voyages to Hawaii, two five-day cruises to Cabo San Lucas and two three-day getaways to Ensenada. There will also be a four-day New Year’s Baja Mexico cruise leaving San Diego on December 30. A six-day cruise with two days in Cabo San Lucas and a day trip to Ensenada will be leaving from San Diego on January 6, 2020.

Lastly, a 13-day Panama Canal Carnival Journeys cruise will depart from San Diego on February 1, 2020, and arrive in Miami on Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Longview Accident Claims Longshoreman, Crew

By Karen Robes Meeks

A longshoreman and a crewmember lost their lives and two others were injured in a maritime accident at the Port of Longview early Thursday morning.

International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) member Byron Jacobs, 34, died at the scene after one of the vessel lines on the M/V Ansac Splendor snapped in half and recoiled toward both the dock and the vessel while it tried to move along the dock from one loading hatch to another, according to port officials.

Three others sustained injuries, including the ship’s chief mate, Pingshan Li, who died later that night at Southwest Washington Medical Center.

"Our hearts are with his family and friends as we all grieve this tragic loss," said Port of Longview CEO Norm Krehbiel. "This is an unimaginable loss felt throughout both the maritime and local community."

ILWU Local 21 President Jake Ford said Thursday’s incident was “a tragic day on the waterfront," adding "Byron was an active member of the union, loved his work and will be incredibly missed.” The union also sent their profound condolences to Chief Mate Li’s family, friends and crewmates.

Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard and Washington State Labor and Industries are investigating the incident.

New Executive for Redwood City

By Karen Robes Meeks

Kristine A. Zortman, vice president of the economic development nonprofit Civic San Diego, will lead the Port of Redwood City as its new executive director.

Zortman will take over for longtime director Mike Giari, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

“Following an extensive recruitment effort, the Port Commission is thrilled to announce the selection of Kristine A. Zortman to further the port’s successful economic development and maritime trade growth,” said Richard Dodge, chair of the Port Commission. “Kristine’s experience and leadership in maritime commercial growth and expansion and maritime related commercial real estate were key assets advancing her as our top candidate,” he added. “Kristine’s successful collaborations with boards, strong community and business partnerships, and experience managing successful internal teams will elevate the port’s success as we continue as a leader among California and US ports and focus on economic development, transportation and community building initiatives and priorities.”

Prior to working with Civic San Diego, Zortman negotiated long-term commercial real estate leases for the Port of San Diego for eight years and worked on land acquisition for Lennar Communities for six years. She also did environmental project management for several years, according to the port.

“I am grateful and thank the Port Commission leadership for their confidence in me to lead the Port of Redwood City,” Zortman said. “I look forward to working with an outstanding internal leadership team, to develop strong partnerships with the Redwood City community, and local, national and international business leaders, and to partner with local, state and federal port leaders to further the important work of ports nationwide. As an economic engine, the port’s strategic alliances and business partnerships will facilitate it truly becoming the region’s partner of choice in multi-national maritime trade and industry.”

Road Closures Expected in Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Drivers using Port of Long Beach adjacent roads to get to and from the Queen Mary, Carnival Cruise terminal and downtown Long Beach should anticipate several road closures and temporary detours from July 4–7, according to the port.

The closures are required so an overpass related to the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement project can be demolished. Affected routes include southbound Harbor Scenic Drive, eastbound Ocean Boulevard and westbound Ocean Boulevard toward San Pedro.

Here are the following detours:

• If you are taking the 710 South for the 4th of July fireworks show at the Queen Mary, take the Port of Long Beach/Queen Mary exit and follow the detour signs.

• From July 5–7, take the Downtown Long Beach, Convention Center, Aquarium exit, then to Shoreline Drive. From Shoreline, turn right onto Queens Way and follow the signs to the Queen Mary.

• Going east on Ocean from Terminal Island to the Queen Mary? Exit the Pico Avenue south off-ramp, turn right, head down Pico Avenue until a left turn on-ramp onto South Harbor Scenic Drive, then follow signs to the Queen Mary.

• Going to downtown Long Beach from eastbound Ocean? Turn left at the Pico/710 north off-ramp, go north, turn right onto 9th Street, continue onto 10th Street, then take the downtown on-ramp onto Shoreline Drive. Alternatively, keep going north via Pico, turn left onto the I-710 on-ramp at 9th Street, then go up Anaheim Street and make a right turn.

• Going west on Ocean toward San Pedro? You will be detoured north onto Golden Shore, linking you to the 710 Freeway going north. If heading to Terminal Island and San Pedro, exit at Anaheim Street and follow “Port of Long Beach” signs to make a left on Pico. Drivers can get back on westbound Ocean after about one-quarter mile.

Meanwhile, northbound Harbor Scenic Drive will remain open.

Visit, or download the “LBBridge” app for more details.

Port of Oakland Scholarships

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eighteen Oakland area high school seniors will be receiving scholarships totaling close to $39,000 this summer, thanks to Port of Oakland employees.

Since establishing the scholarship program 25 years ago, the Port Employees’ Scholarship Program and the Asian Employees Association at the Port of Oakland (AEA) has given out almost $1.2 million to more than 500 students.

“The Port Employees’ Scholarship Program was created to encourage our youth to extend their education beyond high school and contribute to the betterment of the Oakland community,” said Ramona Dixon, Chair of the Port Employees’ Scholarship Program Committee.

Formed by port employees in 1991, AEA is a nonprofit aimed at highlighting academic achievement among Oakland youths. The group has awarded 265 scholarships since 1993.

“I’m grateful to my colleagues who understand first-hand the value of higher education and generously support our cause,” said AEA President Cheryl Ho.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Electrification Funds for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently received $8 million in state funds for a $16.8 million project aimed at creating the infrastructure needed for electric equipment that can handle cargo and to test “the world’s first heavy-duty, off-road, direct current fast-charging system in a seaport environment.”

The California Energy Commission awarded the funds that will go toward the Port Advanced Vehicle Electrification Project, which will allow Total Terminals International at Pier T to move toward zero-emission operations.

Set for completion by March 2022, the project involves building charging outlets for nearly 40 pieces of electrical terminal equipment at TTI, modifying four battery-electric yard tractors so they link to a DC fast-charging system and creating a “port wide Dynamic Energy Forecasting Tool to predict how much energy and supporting infrastructure seaports will need to support zero-emissions terminal equipment,” according to the port. Meanwhile, the demonstration is anticipated to start in early 2021.

“When finished, this project will be a cost-effective, replicable model that the Port of Long Beach and others can use to speed progress to zero emissions,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “It’s part of a wide array of approaches we are using to reduce air pollution for our community and deliver on our promise as the Green Port.”

SSA in Oakland Upgrading to Hybrid RTGs

By Karen Robes Meeks

SSA Terminals – the Port of Oakland’s largest marine terminal operator –announced it will spend more than $6 million to modernize 13 diesel-powered rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes with diesel-electric hybrid engines; a move that could potentially curb more than 45 tons of exhaust emissions a year at the port.

Most of the funding will come from a $5.1 million Community Health Protection Grant Program/Carl Moyer Program grant that was approved earlier this month by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

“We’re delighted that SSA is taking a lead role in curbing emissions,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “And we’re grateful that their initiative has the support of the Air District.”

SSA must finalize a contract with the Air District before starting the work. According to the port, the retrofit project could take up to two years to complete.

Port of Olympia Seeks Public Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is asked to weigh in on what community activities and projects the Port of Olympia should launch in the future. The port is kicking off the Port Olympia Vision 2050 project, which will involve an extensive community outreach at various summer events and frequented locations throughout Thurston County.

Stakeholders may also comment via a brief survey at

The port will use the results of Vision 2050 to pursue projects and initiatives that support the three areas on which the Port Commission is basing future investment and policy-making decisions: generating more economic opportunities, being an environmental steward, and developing and overseeing community assets.

Bellingham Books Still Balance

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham has received a clean bill of financial health from the Washington State Auditor’s Office for fiscal year budget ending December. 31, 2017. This could mean a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the port. Should the port earn the recognition, it would make it 26 straight years of receiving the certificate.

“A clean audit report is a reflection of the Port of Bellingham’s commitment towards excellence in financial reporting,” said Port Commission President Ken Bell. “The Board of Commissioners holds the stewardship of taxpayer funds in the highest regard and receives quarterly financial updates in open public meetings as part of a transparent and responsible financial management process.”

The 2017 budget showed that the port received $23.7 million in operations revenue and more than $7 million in taxes while it spent $20 million on capital assets.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Port of Los Angeles Awarding Grants for Maritime Education

By Karen Robes Meeks

Local nonprofit organizations will be receiving grants totaling one million dollars from the Port of Los Angeles’ annual Community Investment Sponsorship Program.

“Support from the Port of Los Angeles is often a catalyst to sustain or launch many of these community programs and initiatives,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re proud to help support these outstanding organizations and programs that make a positive impact on our San Pedro and Wilmington communities.”

The International Trade Education Programs (ITEP), which help local high school students prepare for college and career opportunities in trade-related jobs, received one of the grants.

“ITEP is extremely grateful for the port’s partnership and financial support in growing the next generation of maritime leaders,” said ITEP CEO Amy Grat. “We thank the Port of Los Angeles for helping ITEP build the talent pipeline for high-wage, high-growth jobs right here in our harbor community.”

Among those also receiving financial support are the Boys & Girls Club of Los Angeles Harbor for a Port, Ocean and Land Awareness program; SBCC-Thrive LA for a Clean Wilmington project; Port of Los Angeles High School for a maritime career technical education program, and the Avalon Arts and Cultural Center for a Wilmington Art Walk. The complete list of recipients can be found at

SSA Renews Oakland Lease

By Karen Robes Meeks

SSA Terminals and the Port of Oakland have agreed on a new lease that runs through 2027, with options to extend to 2042, the port announced earlier this month.

The deal also includes plans for a 19-acre expansion at SSA’s Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) and the acquisition of three new ship-to-shore cranes by the terminal operator for cargo handling.

“SSA is an influential player on the waterfront worldwide and a significant presence in Oakland,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “This lease commitment demonstrates its belief in the port’s long-term prospects.”

SSA – which also runs Oakland’s Matson Terminal – is the largest marine terminal operator in Oakland, handling about 60 percent of the port’s containerized cargo.

“We see steady cargo growth for Oakland into the next decade,” said Ed DeNike, president of SSA Containers. “This new lease helps us plan for the future.”

Nike Executive Appointed to Portland Commission

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Sean O’Hollaren, vice president of government and public affairs Nike, Inc. to the nine-member Port of Portland Commission. He will take over for Commissioner Jim Carter.

Before working at Nike, O’Hollaren served as senior vice president at Honeywell International and director of Washington Affairs at Union Pacific. His also served at the White House as deputy assistant to the president and as special assistant to the president in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

O'Hollaren was also assistant secretary of transportation, overseeing the Office of Governmental Affairs at the US Department of Transportation during the creation of the Transportation Security Administration and its transition to the Department of Homeland Security, according to the port.

"The Port Commission serves a vital role in continuing Oregon's economic growth and building a strong, local workforce," Brown said. "Sean O'Hollaren is a respected leader whose international business experience and new role on the Commission will help ensure Oregon remains a competitive player in the global economy of the future."

Hydroponics Manufacturer Signs Lease at Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA has inked a five-year lease with Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC for about 5.6 acres of the port’s Centennial Industrial Building and surrounding parking and loading areas located at 3300 Northwest 32nd Avenue, Vancouver, Washington, Hawthorne Hydroponics is a subsidiary of the Hawthorne Co, both of which are subsidiaries of lawn and garden products retailer ScottsMiracle-Gro.

ScottsMiracle-Gro recently acquired Sunlight Supply Inc., the first company to move into the port’s Centennial Industrial Park. Nearby Centennial Industrial Building will allow Hawthorne to merge and make its regional operations more efficient.

“Scotts has spent 150 years helping people express themselves on their piece of earth and we look forward to deepening our relationships here,” said Melanie Vodnick, manager of real estate for ScottsMiracle-Gro.

At least 50 people will be employed at the facility, making plastic containers and air filters for various industries, including indoor and urban gardening, according to the company.

Friday, June 22, 2018

New USCG Pac Area Commander

By Karen Robes Meeks

Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan recently assumed command of Coast Guard Pacific Area, taking over for Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, who served as commander since August 2016.

The command change was made official at a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Alameda, California.

Before taking command, Fagan was deputy commandant for Operations, Policy and Capabilities and is the Coast Guard’s first Gold Ancient Trident for having the longest service record in the marine safety field.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in marine science from the US Coast Guard Academy, a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Port of Long Beach Budget Moves Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently endorsed a $982 million spending plan for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the Port of Long Beach.

About $695 million – 70 percent of the budget – will fund modernization and other construction projects, including $333 million on the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project and the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project. Almost $215 million will be spent on the port’s new headquarters, which is expected to be completed in mid-2019.

“The budget reflects the port’s trademark careful planning and fiscal responsibility as we engage in the most active capital improvement program of any US seaport,” said Lou Anne Bynum, president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission. “The port will remain a vital economic engine for both the regional and national economies as we continue to strengthen the port’s competitiveness.”

“This budget gives Long Beach the means to continue building a port that delivers the best customer service in the business,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “To our customers, that means delivering their cargo fast, efficiently, and at a cost that makes sense for them. “We look forward to a prosperous future together with our many partners.”

The budget will come before the Long Beach City Council for final approval.

Housing Coming to Port of Everett

By Karen Robes Meeks

A plan to create new waterfront homes within the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place Central mixed-use development was cemented this week when the port and SeaLevel Properties closed a deal for a 5.44-acre site.

“This is a historic transaction for the Port of Everett,” Port of Everett Acting CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “This property sale allows housing on the waterfront for the first time in Everett’s history and creates the population necessary to support a vibrant Waterfront Place project. I want to thank Sealevel for believing in the vision of Fisherman’s Harbor and the Port of Everett staff for pulling this complicated transaction together.”

Construction is set to start later this year at 1300 W. Marine View Drive, where 266 units ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes will be built. Anticipated completion is 2020.

“We’re thrilled to acquire this prime development site within Everett’s Waterfront Place redevelopment,” said SeaLevel Properties Director John Shaw. “We anticipate strong demand for these homes and look forward to setting a high bar for residential design in Fisherman’s Harbor and Waterfront Place.”

San Pedro Bay CAAP Update Meeting

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public can get the latest details on how the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) 2017 Update is progressing at a stakeholder advisory meeting on June 26.

The meeting will run from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel, located at 601 S. Palos Verdes St. in San Pedro, California.

Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach staff members are expected to talk about what parts of the plan will be executed first, the Clean Truck Program, the latest on technology demonstrations and when feasibility assessments will occur.

The public is encouraged to weigh in on any issues in implementing the plan.

Approved in 2006, CAAP is the ports’ blueprint for reaching zero emissions in port operations. There have been dramatic drops in emissions in the San Pedro Bay since the plan’s inception, including an 87 percent decrease in diesel particulate matter, 56 percent drop in nitrogen oxides, and 97 percent decrease in sulfur oxides.

According to the ports, the 2017 Update intends to tackle greenhouse gases (GHGs), with a goal to drop GHGs 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Visit for more.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Grays Harbor to Receive Army Corps
of Engineers Attention

By Karen Robes Meeks

As part of its 2018 Work Plan, the US Army Corps of Engineers intends to budget an additional $4.255 million toward operations and maintenance work in Grays Harbor County. Funding will be used for maintenance dredging of Grays Harbor and repairs to the Point Chehalis revetment in Westport.

This brings the total funding for operations and maintenance of Grays Harbor to $15.965 million in fiscal year 2018, according to the port.

“This additional federal funding directly supports Grays Harbor’s nationally significant marine commerce activity including the shipment of cargo at our marine terminals and commercial seafood landings at the Westport Marina that combined create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in local economic activity,” said Executive Director Gary Nelson. “We want to recognize and thank our federal delegation, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell and Congressman Derek Kilmer, for their hard work in ensuring the funding for construction, operations and maintenance of our nation’s waterways remains a priority.”

Big May for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently posted its busiest May to date, moving 687,427 TEUs. That’s six percent more compared to 2017, according to the port’s latest tally.

Meanwhile, the port moved 361,056 TEUs of imported goods, up 7.3 percent from a year ago, and 142,412 TEUs of exports, a 19.9 percent jump from May 2017.

“E-commerce has transformed the supply chain to deliver goods rapidly and then replenish them based on consumer demand,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Since the US economy is strong, that’s part of our record May result, which also ranks as one of our best months ever.”

So far this year, the port has handled 3.2 million TEUs, 14.6 percent more than the first five months of 2017.

“International trade continues to be a thriving part of the economy, and cargo continues to flow across our docks as we focus on delivering goods quickly, efficiently and at a good cost,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We look forward to a robust peak season this summer and fall.” West Coast seaports are typically busier in the summer months as retailers stock up for the holidays.”

Los Angeles Capital Improvements Budgeted

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners passed a $1.3 billion fiscal year 2018–2019 budget for the Port of Los Angeles. The budget aims to fund programs that support economic growth and security, strengthen relationships with its stakeholders and make supply chain operations more efficient and sustainable.

The budget forecasts operating revenues of $509.5 million, up 7.2 percent over last fiscal year due in large part to anticipated growth in cargo volumes and shipping services revenues, as well as higher returns on land rentals, according to the port.

About $91 million has been budgeted for capital improvement projects. This amount accounts for $31.6 million for terminal improvements, $13.6 million for public access and environmental projects, $10 million for rail and roadway improvements and $4.7 million for security projects.

“Our strategic priorities continue to guide all that we do at the Port, including the budgeting process,” said Marla Bleavins, port deputy executive director and chief financial officer. “This budget lays the foundation for investing in and maintaining our critical role in the nation’s transportation network and economy, as well as serving as a catalyst for job growth in the region.”

Oakland Executive Promotes Globalization

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle returned to his alma mater, Central Washington University, to speak to an audience of about 5,000 graduates about embracing globalization and rejecting “extreme protectionism.”

“Don’t disengage from the world – don’t be part of the illogical rush to draw the drapes and turn out the lights,” said Lytle, a 1979 graduate. “We see too much of it today in Britain, Italy, France… and right here in the US.”

He spoke of a potential trade war between the US and China with the introduction of tariffs that could undermine free trade, “the backbone of worldwide economic growth.”

Washington state and California would be affected by a trade war since both benefit from exporting farm products such as fruits and nuts to China.

“What’s going to happen to those commodities with higher tariffs?” Lytle said. “Prices will go up. Demand will go down. And China’s booming market for American exports will wither.”

It could also mean lost opportunities for graduates, he added.

“Free trade and the world economy are what you grew up with,” Lytle said. “They’re what you know, and they’re what’s right for a world struggling to come together… not pull apart.”

Friday, June 15, 2018

Port of Seattle Seeks More Depth

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Army Corps of Engineers Commanding General Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite has signed the Chief of Engineers Report for the Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project, making it eligible for congressional authorization.

The project seeks to deepen the East and West Waterways to 57 feet below mean lower low water to improve navigation in the harbor and make room for bigger container ships.

“Both waterways are currently authorized between 34 and 51 feet below mean lower low water and some of these shallower spots present navigational and safety challenges,” said Corps Project Manager Brian Nelson. “Authorizing deepening the channels removes these challenges and ensures the port can accommodate future generations of container ships.”

Port of Seattle Commission President and Northwest Seaport Alliance Managing Member Courtney Gregoire thanked the Army Corps of Engineers.

“This is another step forward to making T-5 big ship ready, and able to handle the largest cargo vessels in the world,” Gregoire said.

Port of Los Angeles Volumes Drop

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cargo volumes dropped 3.4 percent last month when compared to the same period a year ago at the Port of Los Angeles.

The port handled 768,804 TEUs in May, which is lower than the record breaking 796,216 TEUs from 2017.

Meanwhile, the port moved 405,587 TEUs in imports, dipping 1.8 percent from a year ago, and 168,681 TEUs of exports, which also experienced a slight drop.

"Volumes have softened due to continued shuffling of alliance services in the San Pedro Bay,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The Port remains focused on digitizing our value chain. Our aim is to introduce the GE Port Optimizer this summer with the support of our liner and terminal partners."

New HR Director at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Michael Mitchell is the Port of Oakland’s new Director of Human Resources.

Mitchell, who joined the port 12 years ago and was the port’s Human Resources Manager, will overseeing employee and labor relations, talent acquisition and other functions.

“Michael Mitchell brings a wealth of government experience to this position,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle. “His effectiveness in establishing key business partnerships and creating organizational efficiencies will serve the Port well.”

Before coming to the port, the Hampton University alum was a senior human resource analyst with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Vancouver Can!

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA recently highlighted its efforts on sustainable business practices in its annual “We Can!” report, a blueprint for how it can improve and set tangible goals for sustainability in people, planet and profit.

“The benefits to this organization, community and region are numerous,” said Environmental Program Manager Mary Mattix. “The ‘We Can!’ Program provides a platform for innovation and the type of outside-the-box thinking that has become such an important part of our culture here at the port.”

According to the report, the port created more public engagement opportunities and added more followers on its social media accounts. It saved about 1 million kilowatt hours and about $100,000 annually for the port, port tenants and customers by modernizing lighting. It also issued $30 million in revenue bonds at an interest rate below market expectations, a move that saved $4.2 million in interest over the life of the loan.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Port of Los Angeles Considers Supplemental Container Storage

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Los Angeles property on Terminal Island formerly used by the Los Angeles Export Terminal and US Customs and Border Protection may become a peel-off yard to make cargo movement faster and more efficient.

The port recently released an Initial Study/Notice of Preparation looking at the environmental impacts of the proposed Harbor Performance Enhancement Center project that would allow for 24/7 access for storing containers and other uses at 300 South Ferry Street and 750 Eldridge Street.

The public can download the study at and comment on it at a meeting that will take place at 3 p.m. on June 18 at the port’s Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro.

Feedback can also be submitted via email to or mail to Christopher Cannon, Director of Environmental Management, Los Angeles Harbor Department, 425 South Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 until June 29.

Be sure to write “Harbor Performance Enhancement Center (HPEC) Project” in the email subject line and include your physical mailing address in the email.

Visit or call the Port of Los Angeles Environmental Management Division at 310-732-3675 for more details.

Logistics Facility Redesign at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Toyota Logistics Services is looking to redesign its Pier B facility at the Port of Long Beach and construct a renewable fuel-cell power plant and hydrogen fueling station.

Toyota—which has a terminal for receiving, handling and transporting its vehicles off-site by truck or rail—wants to streamline its operations by tearing down spaces for office, car washing, fueling, auto body and other uses and centralizing many of those into one location.

The project also includes the addition of a 2.3-megawatt fuel-cell power plant and a new fueling station that includes hydrogen dedicated pumps, according to the port.

The port on Thursday released an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration document that looks at whether the project would have any significant environmental impact. The public can weigh in on the draft study until July 10.

The document can be found at Submit comments in writing to Heather Tomley, Director of Environmental Planning, Port of Long Beach, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815, or email

Grays Harbor Tours

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Grays Harbor is offering tours this summer as part of Your Jobs, Your Community, Your Port, an annual outreach program.

The 90-minute tour starts with an overview of the port’s past and present, followed by a bus tour of industrial properties and marine terminals in the Aberdeen and Hoquiam area.

Tours will take place at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on June 28, July 12 and August 8.

Space is limited so reservations are needed. Call 360-533-9528 to RSVP or for more information.

Meanwhile, the Satsop Business Park has been conducting walking tours of its facilities, such as the cooling towers, tunnel training facility, warehouses, and office buildings.

Walking tours will take place at 3 p.m. on June 28, July 13, August 10 and September 27, and at 5:30 p.m. on July 26 and August 23.

Participants need to be at least eight years old and wear comfortable closed-toe shoes to take the tour. Space is limited so guests must make a reservation. Call 360-482-1600 to RSVP or for more details.

USCG Cutter Naushon Rescues Fishing Crew

By Karen Robes Meeks

Four mariners have been rescued by crewmembers of the US Coast Guard Cutter Naushon after their fishing vessel broke down and was unable to anchor about 57 miles west of Kodiak Island, south of Shelikof Strait, Alaska.

The crew towed the mariners and their 48-foot commercial fishing vessel Soulmate to Lazy Bay cannery, Alitak Bay, Alaska.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage first received the report about the Soulmate. Communications with the vessel master were difficult because VHF radios were unreliable, so watchstanders started a six-hour communications schedule via satellite phone and asked for the Naushon crew to be diverted, according to the Coast Guard.

“This case highlights the importance of having multiple means of communications,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Taylor, a Sector Anchorage watchstander. “The availability of both a VHF radio and a satellite phone on board the vessel allowed for consistent communication with the master providing up to date information and situational reports.”

Friday, June 8, 2018

New Tenant for Portland Business Park

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Portland-owned Gresham Vista Business Park has announced a new tenant. U.K. synthetic diamond manufacturer Element Six, which is part of The De Beers Group, will begin building a $94-million advanced manufacturing facility this summer, with hopes to be fully operational by 2020.

“We selected the Portland region based on critical success factors such as competitive power distribution, access to a high-quality talent pool and strong support from the City of Gresham and other local partners,” said Ken Sullivan, Element Six’s Global Operations Director.

This comes on the heels of news that De Beers plans to debut Lightbox Jewelry, a line of affordable diamond fashion jewelry.

The 60,000-square-foot facility located east of Portland will initially house about 60 full-time engineers, technicians and other employees related to synthetic diamond production. Once at full scale, the plant will be able to make up to 500,000 rough carats of lab-grown diamonds annually.

“We’re very excited to welcome Element Six to our Gresham,” said Gresham, Oregon, Mayor Shane Bemis. “Gresham is becoming a hub for advanced industries, and we’re happy to welcome the new job and investment. The City of Gresham has the fastest guaranteed land-use review process in the region, which makes us especially attractive to prospective companies.”

Olympia Executive Resigns

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last week, the Port of Olympia commission accepted the resignation of Executive Director Ed Galligan. The commission put Galligan on administrative leave last month to spark “a leadership change that would be instrumental in positioning the Port for the future,” according to the port.

The commission said that Galligan, who served 12 years, will be available as an on-call consultant if necessary, and thanked him for his service.

Galligan was known during his tenure to emphasize environmental innovation including a modern facility that treats stormwater and the eco-friendly Swantown Marina and Swantown Boatworks.

Meanwhile, airport director Rudy Rudolph will serve as port interim executive director while the commission searches for a new leader in the coming months.

Los Angeles Harbor Boulevard Open for Business

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Los Angeles and civic leaders on Thursday feted the newly finished $15.6 million Harbor Boulevard Roadway Improvements Project in San Pedro, California.

Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee and Harbor Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi were on hand to celebrate the completion of the street realignment project, designed to make the road safer and more efficient for vehicles and pedestrians. The project also makes the Los Angeles waterfront more accessible to the public. It features a refurbished Plaza Park and new hillside landscaping along Miner Street.

“This project exemplifies the Port’s commitment to our Public Access Investment Plan, which has allocated about $400 million in capital for LA Waterfront public access projects,” Lee said. “Next up we’ll begin investing almost $33 million on a new town square at 6th Street and a waterfront promenade in front of the future San Pedro Public Market.”

Port of San Francisco Adds Artwork

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Francisco has teamed up with the San Francisco Arts Commission on a new art installation that will serve as an official gateway to the Bayview neighborhood.

Famed public artist Cliff Garten designed the sculpture located at the intersection of Third Street, Arthur Avenue and Cargo Way.

“The Port is proud to collaborate with the Bayview community and the San Francisco Arts Commission to enhance Islais Creek Gateway area with the installation of a magnificent art sculpture,” said President of the San Francisco Port Commission Kimberly Brandon. “The sculpture is the newest addition to the Bayview Gateway open space, which was improved by the Port in 2015, and adds to the series of recent public realm and Blue Greenway improvements in the area including: Bayview Rise, Heron’s Head Park, Cargo Way bicycle facility and Heron’s Head Park improvements. The Gateway is a long-envisioned improvement by and for the Bayview community, and can be enjoyed by all San Francisco residents and visitors alike.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

New Line for NW Seaport Alliance

By Karen Robes Meeks

The SM Line Qingdao made its first weekly call to the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s North Harbor on Thursday.

Six 4,300-TEU vessels will call each week at SSA Marine’s Terminal 18 on Seattle’s Harbor Island as part of the new Pacific Northwest Service, which stops at ports in Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan, Vancouver, Seattle, Tokyo and Kwangyang.

“We are proud to welcome SM Line to our family of steamship lines calling at The Northwest Seaport Alliance,” said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. “This new weekly service and the cargo it brings means jobs and revenue for our region.”

This service gives shippers another carrier option and more direct ports of call to south and central China, Korea and Japan.

Green Port Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach was recently named the world’s “Best Green Seaport” at the 32nd annual Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards in Shanghai, the port announced Friday.

Hosted by the Asia Cargo News, the award is based on freight transportation service professionals who voted in an annual poll. It is given to ports that have “demonstrated compliance with green freight transport regulations and environmental standards; investment in green initiatives, technology and action plans; incorporation of environmental requirements in strategic planning; use of a policy on reducing fuel emissions from freight handling operations; and ongoing training of staff in green initiatives and in measures to lower carbon footprints.”

“The Port of Long Beach is thrilled to be named the Best Green Seaport. This award reflects the continuing serious commitment of our Board of Harbor Commissioners and staff to improving air and water quality, and serving as a model of environmental sustainability for seaports around the world,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum.

San Diego Energy Management Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego recently received a 2018 Excellence in Energy Leadership award from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) at its 13th annual Energy Showcase event.

The port, which was feted with 11 other local businesses, was honored for developing California’s first Energy Management Plan, authorized by Assembly Bill 628 and signed into law in 2013.

The law allowed ports and harbor districts to team with their electrical and/or gas corporations on emission-curbing energy management plans that would also nurture economic development within the port.

“Thanks to continuous collaboration with our partners, local government, tenants and SDG&E, the Port’s Energy Management Plan will serve as a road map to continue to make positive environmental impacts for years to come,” said Rafael Castellanos, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “We are honored to be recognized as a 2018 Energy Champion.”

Friday, June 1, 2018

Vancouver Trail Moves Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

The construction of a connector trail that will link already existing segments along State Route 501/Northwest Lower River Road, between the Port of Vancouver USA’s administrative offices and Farwest Steel on Gateway Avenue, moved forward last week when the port commissioners awarded an $880,300 contract to Keystone Contracting Inc. of Ridgefield, Washington.

The work, which is partly funded through a $500,000 federal grant, includes “clearing, grading, paving, construction of elevated boardwalk, landscaping and irrigation.” Construction of the .33-mile portion of the trail is expected to start next month and be completed by early next year.

This new portion of the trail will be part of a countywide system that will link Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Washougal to Frenchman’s Bar Regional Park in Vancouver.

New Norwegian Cruise Ship Calls at Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle on Wednesday morning feted the arrival of Norwegian Bliss, the newest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet.

Constructed for the Alaskan cruise market, the Bliss weighs more than 168,000 gross tons and has a capacity of 4,004 passengers in double occupancy staterooms.

“The Port of Seattle is thrilled to host the magnificent Norwegian Bliss and her passengers for many Alaska cruise seasons to come,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “Cruise ships like Norwegian Bliss meet our objectives of increasing economic opportunity in our region while constantly raising the bar on environmental sustainability. We thank Norwegian for their 18 years of partnership with the Port of Seattle and look forward to many more to come.”

Norwegian Cruise Line worked with the port on improving and expanding the Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 to accommodate the Bliss.

“We are proud of our partnership with the Port of Seattle, where we have cruised out of for nearly two decades,” said Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Hueneme Grade Separation Gets a Lift

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Rice Avenue Grade Separation Overpass Project in Oxnard, California, has received a $70 million financial boost recently, thanks to Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, who secured the funding, according to the Port of Hueneme.

“Last year, during transportation funding discussions, I continued to raise how this urgent issue affects our community and secured a commitment from state leaders to fund the project,” Irwin said. “I’m very pleased that the state recognizes the compelling need to get this project done and is following through on its commitment to fund it.”

The project will help improve the state’s most unsafe street intersections by curbing potential train-vehicle accidents, ease congestion and make freight movement more efficient.

“This project will improve the safety and efficiency of the critical link for Port cargo to be dispersed throughout our region and across 13 other states and Canada,” said President of the Oxnard Harbor District Mary Anne Rooney.

Elderly Cutter Still Effective

By Karen Robes Meeks

Members of the US Coast Guard Cutter Active from Port Angeles, Washington seized more than $78 million worth of cocaine and arrested six drug smuggling suspects during a patrol in international waters near Central America.

They seized more than 5,271 pounds of cocaine and the suspects during two back-to-back interdictions on the 53-year-old Coast Guard cutter May 18 and May 19.

“The crew of Active should be proud of all they’ve accomplished to combat dangerous transnational criminal organizations that spread violence and instability throughout the Western Hemisphere,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander, US Coast Guard Pacific Area. “Their ability to complete the mission on this aging platform is a testament their abilities as cuttermen and devotion to duty as Coast Guard women and men.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

San Diego Plans for Rising Seas

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego recently agreed to team up with US Navy to plan for possible sea level rise impacts when it pursued a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Commander Navy Region Southwest.

The agreement allows the port and the navy to share data, look at the latest and best scientific information and modeling for sea level rise and develop policies and measures.

"This MOA is yet another indication of the close and productive relationship between the Port of San Diego and the Navy, a relationship that benefits the entire San Diego region,” said Rear Admiral Yancy Lindsey, Commander Navy Region Southwest. “The potential impacts of sea level rise do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries and demand collaboration among all stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the port, local municipalities, and other interested parties on this challenge to ensure the resiliency and viability of our Navy installations, San Diego Bay, and its surrounding communities, now and into the future.”

Meanwhile, the port has been putting together its own study and assessment of how sea level rise could affect its facilities and infrastructure. Phase One involves an assessment in how vulnerable San Diego is to flooding as a result from sea level rise and major storms.

“The Port and the Navy are responsible for the San Diego Bay coastline – it’s vital that we work together to evaluate and plan for the potential impacts of sea level rise,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Our partnership ensures that we will continue to be a resilient, strategic port and economic engine well into the future.”

Bellingham is Busy

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Bellingham Shipping Terminal continues to be busy, generating more activity in a week than it has in the last 20 years, according to the port.

Last week, the port loaded 5.2 million board feet of forest products heading to China unto the 590-foot M/V African Egret.

Meanwhile, organic grains that came from Turkey a few months ago via the 590-foot M/V Diana Bolten were being moved from a terminal warehouse to be shipped to local markets.

The activity is welcomed from an area that saw jobs disappear after Georgia-Pacific closed its pulp mill in 2001. Reopening the terminal has been a long road for the port, which had to clean up massive contamination in the Whatcom Waterway and create deeper navigation to accommodate newer, bigger cargo ships.

Teamwork Key to Oakland’s Success

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle opined on how teamwork among the supply chain stakeholders helped Oakland rebound from the congestion that afflicted West Coast ports four years ago to making record cargo moves today.

“All links in the supply chain came together to dig us out of the hole,” Lytle said to an audience of 300. “Labor… management… cargo owners… everyone joined in common purpose – to make Oakland better.”

To continue to thrive as a business, Oakland created an Efficiency Task Force made up of stakeholders such as labor, terminal operators, carriers, shippers and rail operators to identify weaknesses and find solutions.

The port also enacted a series of changes including night gates for truck drives, appointments for cargo pickup and “consolidated marine terminals to absorb excess capacity that depressed cargo-handling rates,” according to the port.

Today, almost $800 million are being invested in the Oakland port and the task force, now 50 members strong, meet quarterly to refine port operations.

“None of this would have happened without all parties collaborating on change,” Lytle said. No mistrust… no misunderstandings… no misalignment… everyone was at the table and the result was a roadmap to a better future.”

Long Beach Provides Scholarships

By Karen Robes Meeks

About 39 Long Beach area high school and college students wanting to work in the international trade and goods movement industry recently received $54,750 in scholarships from the Port of Long Beach. They were awarded the money earlier this month at the fifth annual “Celebrating Education” event.

The port has been handing out scholarships since 1993; within that time period $775,400 in scholarships have been awarded to 464 students.

“The smartest thing we can do is develop a highly trained workforce for the fourth Industrial Revolution: innovation and technology. We are looking to young people to energize our city’s primary economic engine, and we are proud to be part of that,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Lava Safety

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sunday morning, the US Coast Guard began enforcing a Lava Entry Safety Zone around the Kilauea Volcano active lava flow entries into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Big Island near the Mackenzie State Park Lower Puna region.

According to the Coast Guard, the unpredictable conditions could cause safety health hazards from possible localized tsunamis along the coastline and sea.

“For mariners without prior limited entry approval, the safety zone encompasses all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around the entry of the lava flow into the ocean,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Bannon, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu waterways management lead. “All waterway users should be aware of the hazardous conditions associated with such an event. Getting too close to the lava can result in serious injury or death.”

The volcano erupted about three weeks ago, creating fissures that have already overtaken homes and vehicles, and are threatening a local geothermal plant.