Friday, April 20, 2018

LA Harbor Commission Confirms President

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Thursday, Los Angeles City Council confirmed Mayor Eric Garcetti’s appointment of Jaime L. Lee as president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, the organization that governs the Port of Los Angeles.

Lee will take over for Vilma Martinez, who served for five years before leaving the board earlier this month. “I’m humbled to join my fellow harbor commissioners and serve as president of this important commission,” said Lee, a native Angeleno. “I look forward to working with all port stakeholders and staff as I continue the efforts of my predecessor to further enhance North America’s premier trade gateway.”

For the last four years, Lee was on the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System Board of Administration as a commissioner and president.

Matson Tahiti Service

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. recently kicked off a new direct service to Tahiti.

An extension of Matson's South Pacific Express, the new Tahiti service offers twice-monthly arrivals from the United States mainland and the fastest transit times from Hawaii to French Polynesia.

With Papeete, Tahiti, as a new port of call, Matson now offers export shipping from the US and Hawaii to major islands of Polynesia such as Samoa, American Samoa, the Cook Islands (Rarotonga and Aitutaki), Tonga (Nukualofa and Vava'u), Niue, New Zealand, and Fiji (Suva and Lautoka).

The Tahiti service also includes use of Matson's terminal operations in Hawaii, Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle.

"This new service allows Matson to leverage existing operations in the region to offer market-leading service to a new destination," said Senior Vice President – Pacific Tuilaepa Vic Angoco. "The people of Tahiti and Hawaii have enjoyed a long and rich history together with shared ethnic and cultural ties. We look forward to strengthening ties between our island communities."

New Car Carrier Calls at San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of San Diego and Pasha Automotive Services saw a new car-carrying vessel dock at the National City Marine Terminal.

The M/V Beluga Ace from MOL ACE (Auto Carrier Express), arrived from the Port of Nakanoseki, Japan, loaded with 2,487 Mazdas picked up from the ports of Nakanoseki and Hiroshima, Japan.

Constructed at the Minaminippon Shipbuilding Company in Oita, Japan, the “FLEXIE” Class Beluga Ace features six liftable decks. Its rounded bow shape is designed to minimize wind resistance and reduce CO2 emissions. To celebrate the maiden voyage, port officials held a plaque exchange ceremony. The recognition was presented to the Beluga Ace’s Captain, Hirotoshi Tateyama.

“The Port of San Diego is pleased to welcome Beluga Ace to the National City Marine Terminal and welcomes the additional business from Mazda,” said Port Commissioner Dukie Valderrama. “MOL is known worldwide for its commitment to safety, good service and protection of the environment. We congratulate MOL on its innovative vessel and look forward to additional visits to our port.”

Port of Everett Welcomes Food Studies

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place will be the new home of Washington State University School of Food Science’s Center for Advanced Food Technology.

The university has signed a three-year lease with the Port of Everett to use 4,800-square feet of office space at the Port’s Marina Village complex (near Anthony’s Homeport), as well as classroom space at the Port’s Conference Center.

"The vision of supporting the growth of the food processing industry in this region (is) a reality,” said Dr. Barbara Rasco, Director of the School of Food Science. “We are excited about this opportunity to collaborate with the Port of Everett in this innovative partnership and look forward to developing a more permanent facility at the Port to house our outreach, academic and research efforts as part of the land grant mission of WSU and the University of Idaho. These efforts will result in significant economic benefit to the people of Everett, Snohomish County, and the Pacific Northwest.”

The center will explore various food-related areas, including the development of innovative ways to process food to improve quality and safety, development of new products through application of biotechnology, and application of alternative energy technologies in processing facilities.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

LA Volumes Drop for March

By Karen Robes Meeks

After months of rising cargo numbers at the Port of Los Angeles, volumes last month dropped 27 percent from the same period last year.

The port handled 577,865 TEUs in overall cargo, 264,460 of those were imports, which fell 29.2 percent from March 2017. Exports also dropped 14.6 percent to 163,706 TEUs and empty containers (which are shipped overseas to be replenished with goods) dove 33 percent to 149,699 TEUs.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said the dip was expected following a record February when shippers rushed to move product before the Lunar New Year, when much of Asia slows business for about two weeks to celebrate the holiday.

“We’re comparing our numbers to an extraordinary 29 percent volume gain last March so a decline is not unexpected,” he said. “Lunar New Year timing and subsequent canceled or reduced sailings played a factor. We continue to focus on our efforts to make facility and technology enhancements that position us for long-term efficiency and productivity gains.”

Vancouver USA Seeks Public Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA is asking the public to weigh in on its Terminal 1 waterfront development and planned public marketplace, as it plans to erect a dock structure over the Columbia River.

The port, which recently started efforts to design and fund the marketplace, has put out a 22-question survey asking the public what they want to see at Terminal 1 and the marketplace.

The port, which is running the survey through April 20, is also teaming up with the Terminal 1 Advisory Committee, a group of local stakeholders advising staff, and consultants Graham Baba Architects and Greenworks on the project.

Meanwhile, the port will host open houses in the spring and summer to talk about possible alternatives, with plans to reveal a preferred choice in the fall. The first open house is schedule for May 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Warehouse 23 Event Space at Terminal 1.

For more information visit

Port of Seattle Grants Funds for Tourism

By Karen Robes Meeks

Organizations dedicated to promoting tourism in Washington State recently received a financial boost from the Port of Seattle.

The Port Commission granted $200,000 for 26 tourism-related projects through a matching funds program, which provide up to $10,000 to various groups in an effort to attract more visitors and promote the use of port facilities.

“With approval of these projects, the Port of Seattle is able to promote tourism to all corners of the state and bring revenue and jobs to places that need them,” said Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “This year we included additional funding for eco-tourism and we look forward to seeing great results from these 22 environmentally focused projects.”

Olympic Peninsula Visitors Bureau, which received $9,000 toward developing a new website, digital advertising and social media campaign aimed at “out-of-state fly-in markets,” would not be able to develop a robust online marketing campaign targeted to potential visitors outside of Washington State without the grant, explained executive director Marsha Massey.

“This unique program is important to an organization of our size, affording us the opportunity for broader reach and allowing us to grow off-season travel to the Olympic Peninsula, and in so doing, to increase air travel through SeaTac International Airport,” Massey said.

The Port of Seattle collected more than $71 million from King County taxpayers in 2016.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Big Quarter for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently finished its best first quarter in history, surpassing a 2007 first quarter record, the port announced this week.

Nearly 1.9 million TEUs moved through the port from January through March, about 19.4 percent more than the port’s first quarter of 2017, the port’s busiest year to date.

Meanwhile, cargo volumes last month rose 13.8 percent when compared to March 2017, moving 575,258 TEUs.

Imports last month grew 7.3 percent to 267,824 import TEUs while exports jumped 18.3 percent to 142,419 TEUs.

“Our March cargo jumped despite the shipping slowdown during the Lunar New Year holiday in China,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “One of the most encouraging signs throughout this surge in cargo last year and this year is the operational efficiency at our marine terminals. We are handling record levels of cargo with no delays.”

New Finance Director at Grays Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Mike Folkers is the new director of finance and administration for the Port of Grays Harbor.

Folkers, who will start in the his new role on April 16, takes over for current director of finance Mary Nelson, who will retire in June after 23 years with the port.

Folkers, who serves as the City of Aberdeen’s finance director, has led municipal finance departments in Ocean Shores, Hoquiam and Aberdeen.

“Mr. Folkers’ proven leadership and knowledge in the field will be an asset to the port’s management team,” said Executive Director Gary Nelson. “We look forward to having him on the team and continuing the strong legacy of fiscal responsibility Ms. Nelson and her department have established over the past 23 years.”

Mr. Folkers earned his masters of business administration from Washington State University, a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from the University of Washington.

“We are confident Mr. Folkers’ experience and skills will be an excellent fit for ensuring the legacy established during Mary Nelson’s tenure of prudent, judicious and transparent management of the public assets entrusted to the Port for the betterment of the community,” said Port Commission Secretary-Treasurer Jack Thompson. “Mike is well prepared to assist our port management team in navigating future challenges and opportunities.”

Vancouver USA Aces Audit

By Karen Robes Meeks

For its eighth straight year, the Port of Vancouver USA earned a clean audit from the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

No deficiencies were found during the audit period from Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017 by the state auditor’s office, which reviewed “procurement and contract compliance; lease revenues; safeguarding of fuel; tracking of small and attractive IT inventory assets; and payroll and financial condition,” according to the port.

“Finding no deficiencies year after year showcases the passion and integrity our staff have every day,” said CEO Julianna Marler. “We are deeply committed to accountability and transparency, and we’re proud to have yet another clean audit that demonstrates those values.”

Three years ago, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board raised reporting standards for all government agencies, said port Director of Finance and Accounting Scott Goodrich.

“GASB works hard to ensure transparency, access and accuracy in financial reporting and we are proud to continue to not only meet but exceed those standards,” he said.

Free Harbor Tours at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

See the Port of Oakland up close with a free harbor tour, which will take place from May to October.

“Port of Oakland harbor tours allow us to connect directly with the communities that we serve,” said Port of Oakland Director of Social Responsibility Amy Tharpe. “The harbor tours are also a way of saying thank you to our community for supporting the work that we do.”

Reservations are needed to take advantage of the 90-minute narrated tours aboard the Blue and Gold Fleet. Ticket registration begins May 7 for the two May cruises. The first harbor tour is slated for May 11. Registration will take place the first Monday of each month for that month's tours.

Visit to check out tour times and dates. To reserve a spot, visit

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Coast Guard Cutter Sherman Decommissioned

By Karen Robes Meeks

After almost five decades of service, The Coast Guard Cutter Sherman has been decommissioned at Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

Sherman, one of several cutters being replaced by the National Security Cutters, was involved in numerous efforts, including the largest individual cocaine seizure in US history, as well as maritime law enforcement cases and rescues.

Launched on Sept. 3, 1968, Sherman is one of only two Coast Guard Cutters to earn the Vietnam Service Award and the only such vessel to receive the Combat Action Ribbon for action in the Vietnam War. It’s also the last active US Coast Guard warship to have sunk an enemy vessel in combat.

“The crewmembers who’ve served aboard Sherman have contributed immensely to protecting the American public across Sherman’s nearly 50 years of meritorious service while changing the course of history through the cutter’s combat action in Vietnam and a record-setting drug seizure,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, who leads the service’s Pacific fleet as the commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California. “The Coast Guard remains committed to protecting the American public, our security and our economic interests wherever we are called upon to serve. Recapitalizing our vessels, aircraft, boats, and infrastructure is mission critical and our highest priority to ensure we remain ‘always ready’ to continue protecting our nation.”

New Port of Seattle Environmental Committee

By Karen Robes Meeks

In a move to further environmental efforts at the Port of Seattle, commissioners voted recently to establish a 2018 Energy and Sustainability Committee and identify its environmental priorities to curb greenhouse gas emissions and find more innovative and collaborative ways to protect nearby communities’ air and water quality.

In its plan, the committee, co-chaired by Commissioners Fred Felleman and Ryan Calkins, outlined four priorities: furthering the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, starting an aquatic carbon sequestration, “Blue Carbon,” strategy, developing a Sustainable Evaluation Framework for project reviews and updating the port’s environmental awards.

“The Port is making good on its promises to protect the environment both locally and globally. It’s our commitment to improve both the health and wealth of our communities,” Felleman said. “We appreciate the work of the many agency, industry, community and environmental advisors who provided invaluable assistance in developing our goals.”

Hawaii Harbors Division Bonds Upgraded

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division’s revenue bonds Series 2010 A and 2010 B’s rating was upgraded from ‘A2’ to ‘A1’ by Moody’s Investors Service, the department announced recently.

“The recent bond rating upgrade by Moody’s is great news and underscores the strong management and fiscal policies that continue to be the benchmark of my administration,” said Gov. David Ige. “I’m proud to say that this is the fourth revenue bond rating upgrade the HDOT Harbors Division has received over the past fourteen months.”

Moody’s said the Hawaii harbor system credit profile is based on the port system near monopoly position of serving seaborne cargo and cruise passengers in Hawaii, as well as “solid actual and projected debt service coverage ratios,” improved operating margins, DSCRs and liquidity from recent multi-year tariff raises and recent cargo and cruise passenger level stability.

The tariff raises in the last past several years represent “a strong management focus on financial performance and have led to substantial improvement in operating ratio and an increase in liquidity, providing financial flexibility to manage operational and financial challenges,” according to Moody.

The department has been able to use a cash-first, borrow-as-needed method of financing, allowing them to use unrestricted cash reserves to pay for its Capital Improvement Program projects and to re-deploy those resources typically associated with debt service payments for bonds issued to fund projects, said Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay.

“Our Harbors team has done an excellent job in setting priorities and implementing successful strategies to upgrade and improve our commercial harbor facilities throughout the state,” said Butay. “And they’ve accomplished this without the use of any State general funds; generating their own revenue through user fees and tariffs.”

Free Tours at Port of Olympia

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia is offering its free marine terminal tour in downtown Olympia to give visitors a chance to see and learn more about how Thurston County’s international shipping terminal works up close. Guests will also learn more than the county’s role in global trade and see cargo operators in action, from a mobile harbor crane to log loaders.

The next tours will take place on May 9, June 21, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 13 and Oct. 9.

Children are invited. Photo identification is required for passengers 17 and older. Visit to reserve a space.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Puget Sound Maritime Achievement Award

The 2018 Puget Sound Maritime Achievement Award Selection Committee is accepting nominations for this year’s award. The recipients will be announced at the Seattle Propeller Club’s Maritime Festival breakfast to be held at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott on May 18.

Nominations must be received by April 20, 2018 and may be e-mailed to Nominations should include the candidate’s specific achievements, particularly those related to the Puget Sound maritime community, and ideally, a brief biography of the nominee.

Past recipients include representatives from various industry segments such as cargo carriers and agents, shipyards, tug and barge operators, marine architects, passenger and fishing vessel operators, port authorities, stevedores, and organized labor. Several paragraphs about the nominee are sufficient. Contact Rich Berkowitz at 206-443-1738 with any questions about award nomination.

Long Beach Reaches for Zero Emissions

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Long Beach, Southern California Edison and the California Energy Commission officials on Wednesday kicked off the country’s biggest port pilot program for zero-emissions cranes and other cargo-handling equipment at Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J.

“The Zero-Emissions Terminal Transition Project kicks off a new era in transportation electrification and the Port’s own transformation to zero-emissions,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We are grateful for the partnerships with the Energy Commission and Southern California Edison that are making this a reality.”

This comes at the heels of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports’ 2017 approval of their updated Clean Air Action Plan, which pushed a goal of zero emissions terminal-related equipment by 2030.

Thanks in large part to a $9.7 million California Energy Commission grant, three port marine terminals, including the SSA-operated Pacific Container Terminal, will be able to test 25 zero- or near zero-emissions vehicles for a year.

The project calls for converting nine diesel-electric rubber-tire gantry cranes into all electric equipment at one terminal, buying a dozen battery-electric yard tractors for two terminals, and turning four LNG trucks into plug-in hybrid-electric trucks for a drayage company.

“SSA Terminals appreciates the confidence that the Port of Long Beach has shown in our company by selecting us to be part of this major project to electrify the nine large container-handling yard cranes at our Pacific Container Terminal," said Paul Gagnon, Vice President of SSA Marine Terminals. “We hope that this partnership will continue as we all strive for cleaner air quality.”

The project is anticipated to curb more than 1,323 tons of greenhouse gases and 27 tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxides annually, according to the port.

Oakland’s Night Gates Pay Off

By Karen Robes Meeks

Thanks to the introduction of a new strategy, the Port of Oakland is seeing more truck visits at night now than at any other time in its nearly 100-year history.

Two years ago, Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) was the first to open a second shift to ease heavy daytime operations. Truck transaction times went from waits of up to three hours to an average of 60 to 90 minutes, and night gates now account for about 30 percent of its daily volume, according to OICT.

“We’ve spread out the truck traffic and improved the drivers’ turn times,” said Jim Rice, general manager at Oakland International Container Terminal. “Night gates have allowed us to operate nine shifts a week with a domino effect: there’s less traffic and congestion and it’s easier for cargo owners to pick up their shipments.”

Meanwhile, TraPac marine terminal has been testing night gates.

“Night operations have transformed the Port,” said Executive Director Chris Lytle. “No more 8 to 5 work days… we’re too busy for that.”

Coast Guard Suspends Alaska Search

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sunday night, the US Coast Guard called off its more than 35-hour search for a man who reportedly did not return from tending crab pots near Whittier, Alaska.

The man left on a 16-foot red skiff in Passage Canal and was expected to return around 1 p.m. Saturday. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews, a Coast Guard Station Valdez boatcrew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang scoured a 10 square-mile area in Passage Canal and Whittier Harbor in search for the missing man.

Good Samaritan vessels Qayaq Chief and Krystalsea also helped in the search Saturday.

“Coast Guard crews and good Samaritan crews saturated the waters of Passage Canal and Whittier Harbor over two days to locate the missing boater,” said Michael McNeil, command duty officer for Sector Anchorage. “We search for every missing person as if we are searching for one of our own. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the missing boater during this difficult time.”

LA Harbor Commission Head Steps Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Ambassador Vilma Martinez will step down as president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, it was announced Thursday. Martinez, who has served on the board since 2013, led the Port of Los Angeles during its record cargo growth and the latest version of the Clean Air Action Plan.

“It’s been my honor and privilege to have served as president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission,” said Ambassador Martinez. “I am very proud to have served our nation’s number one container port working alongside my fellow commissioners and port staff to assure that our port remains strongly competitive, grows sustainably and continues to be an engaged and supportive member of the community. I am forever grateful to [Los Angeles] Mayor [Eric] Garcetti for having allowed me this incredible opportunity to help shape the future of international trade in Los Angeles.”

Garcetti has nominated Jaime L. Lee to the Harbor Commission, which will require Los Angeles City Council’s approval.

For the last four years, Lee was a board president and a commissioner on the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System Board of Administration. Prior to that, he served on the Los Angeles City Industrial Development Authority, the Los Angeles City Quality and Productivity Commission, and on the State of California’s Speech Language Pathology, Audiology & Hearing Aid Dispensers Board.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Oakland Expects Higher Container Volumes

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland expects to see an annual two percent increase in container volumes over the next five years, thanks to nearly $700 million in new money coming from outside investors. “This is good, measured growth that’s not debilitating for our community or our operations,” Executive Director Chris Lytle said at the port’s 55-member Efficiency Task Force. “A big shout out to those who have stepped up to make the investments that will drive our growth – they’re showing faith in Oakland’s future.”

Investing in port facilities and infrastructure allows Oakland to further compete in the global market, many of which are expected to come online by summer, Lytle said.

They include:

• Completing TraPac marine terminal’s $60 million expansion;

• Finishing a $15 million project to raise four ship-to-shore cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal;

• Breaking ground on a $52 million Seaport Logistics Complex by CenterPoint Properties; • Opening a $90 million Cool Port Oakland refrigerated distribution facility by Lineage Logistics and Dreisbach Enterprises and

• Kicking off a $40,000 web portal by Advent Intermodal Solutions for shippers to track containers or manage cargo pickup.

Port Maritime Director John Driscoll predicted that new development would raise cargo volumes, adding that Cool Port alone could mean more than 50,000 TEUs annually.

“We applaud the vision of those who are investing in Oakland,” he said. “The payoff will be more business for the port and more jobs and economic stimulus for the city.”

Shell Seeks Terminal Lease Renewal

By Karen Robes Meeks

San Pedro Bay stakeholders now have a chance to weigh in on the potential environmental impacts of a marine oil terminal operated by Shell Oil Company, which is seeking a new 30-year lease. The current lease expires in 2023.

The Port of Los Angeles has put together a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the terminal at Berths 167–169 in Wilmington, California.

Stakeholders will have until May 10 to comment on the draft report. Written comments can be sent to or mailed to Port of Los Angeles, attention Chris Cannon, Director of Environmental Management, P.O. Box 151, San Pedro, CA 90733-0151.

The port will present its findings on April 11 at 6 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles Administration Building, located at 425 S. Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro. There will be an opportunity for public comment at the meeting.

Visit for more information.

Vancouver USA Introduces New Industrial Space

By Karen Robes Meeks

Regional and Port of Vancouver USA officials on Thursday welcomed the opening of the port’s Centennial Industrial Building.

“Today we celebrate what happens when you have a solid team with a solid vision and the right tools to make it happen,” said Columbia River Economic Development Council President Mike Bomar. “We’re excited to show this space off – while it lasts – to existing companies who now have the opportunity to stay and grow here as well as the many new companies who have discovered that Clark County is one of the premier locations to do business in the country.”

Situated in Centennial Industrial Park, the Centennial Industrial Building – now available for lease – features 125,000-square feet of sustainably built industrial space that can be customized to accommodate various business needs. It is close to major highways, rail lines and Portland International Airport.

Lifetime Contribution Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Los Angeles Trade Development Director Jim MacLellan will receive the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Stanley T. Olafson award at the 92nd annual World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast on May 4.

The award is given in recognition of a person’s lifetime contribution to the developing and advancing world trade in the Southern California region.

“Jim MacLellan has done outstanding work on behalf of the Port of Los Angeles and the trade community. In each of his roles – as teacher, marketer and promoter – Jim continues to help increase trade opportunities for the Los Angeles region,” said L.A. Area Chamber President and CEO Gary Toebben.

Serving as the port’s trade development director since 2007, MacLellan is tasked with fostering trade opportunities through the port and the Southern California Gateway. Before coming to the port in 1992, MacLellan worked internationally in both the intermodal and breakbulk shipping business sectors for more than two decades.

Friday, March 30, 2018

California to Use School Funds
for San Francisco Seawall

By Karen Robes Meeks

Efforts to improve the Embarcadero Seawall recently received a financial boost with the help of California lawmakers.

Sponsored by the Port of San Francisco and co-authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Assembly Bill 2578 would let the city dedicate the school’s share of tax increment to the port’s infrastructure financing district and use it for shoreline improvements.

The bill would give the state the means to fund the Seawall Earthquake Safety Program and produce an estimated $55 million in the program’s first decade and an estimate of $250 million during the program’s lifetime.

“Our seawall is disintegrating, which is a danger for our city’s safety and economy, especially as sea levels rise due to climate change,” Wiener said. “Restoring and strengthening San Francisco’s seawall is going to take partnership from local, state, and federal leaders, and I’m proud to be joining Assemblymember Chiu to move this bill forward to help protect our waterfront.”

Sea level rise and earthquakes are real threats to San Francisco’s waterfront, Chiu said.

“Strengthening the Embarcadero Seawall will safeguard us against potential flooding that threatens the future of our city and region,” Chiu said. “While the federal government only talks about infrastructure, the State of California can be a partner as we work together the rebuild this crucial asset.”

Port of Oakland Predicts Smooth Sailing

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Oakland officials this week said they don’t expect much change in port operations when the newly formed Japanese carrier alliance, Ocean Network Express (ONE), launches April 1.

The new ONE alliance was formed in 2017 by container carriers MOL, NYK and K Line, all of which currently visit Oakland with eight weekly vessel services.

The port said that number isn’t expected to change.

“Everyone affected with this merger – the shipping lines, marine terminals, cargo owners, other Port stakeholders – has been gearing up for it since last year,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “There may be unforeseen challenges but we are confident they will be promptly addressed and no operational disruptions in Oakland are expected.”

One of Oakland’s biggest trading partners is Japan, especially for agricultural exports.

Long Beach Port Community Forum

By Karen Robes Meeks

Residents and stakeholders are invited to weigh in on the future of Port of Long Beach development at its “Let’s Talk Port” community forum on Wednesday.

The event, the first of two workshops, will include updates to the Port Master Plan, a blueprint for port development and land use and the chance to talk individually with port staff and consultants. The event will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Homeland Cultural Center, 1321 E. Anaheim St. in Long Beach. RSVP on Tuesday at

Contact Jocelin Padilla at or 562-283-7722. Visit for more.

Barges and Beer

By Karen Robes Meeks

A pair of major Northwestern industries – barging and barley malting – will be the subjects of a lecture series presented by the Port of Vancouver USA.

The upcoming lecture, “From Farm to Table and the World – Tugs and Barges, the Workhorses of the Columbia-Snake-Willamette River System” will take place on Tuesday, April 3, will feature family-owned company Shaver Transportation and the role tugs and barges play in moving goods along 465 miles of river. Shaver Vice President Marine Operations Rob Rich is expected to present the lecture.

On April 10, Great Western Malting President Mike O’Toole, Malt Innovation Center Manager Teri Fahrendorf and Malt Innovation Technician Amanda Kozina will discuss the process of taking barley from field to brewery in the lecture, “Great Western Malting: Tradition and Innovation in Malting.”

Great Western Malting is the largest malting company in the Western US and its Port of Vancouver USA facility “steeps, germinates and roasts barley, a critical ingredient in brewing and distilling,” a product sent domestically as well as Canada, Japan and Mexico, according to the port.

The events are free to the public and will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Warehouse ’23 Event Space, 100 Columbia Street, Vancouver. Pre-registration is required. Call 360-693-3611 or email

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

California Ports Talk Clean Air

By Karen Robes Meeks

Clean air innovation and solutions were on the docket at a two-day Pacific Ports Clean Air Collaborative conference earlier this month.

Hosted by the Port of Los Angeles, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and the US-China Green Ports and Vessels Initiative, the event brought supply chain stakeholders from all over the world who listen to panels on various topics, including controlling and curbing air emissions and incentivizing those practices as well as exploring new zero-emissions technologies.

“Information sharing and continued dialogue among ports globally has been key to finding sustainable solutions that both protect the environment and allow for steady economic growth,” said Gene Seroka, executive director at the Port of Los Angeles. “When ports work together, we maximize environmental outcomes far beyond what can be accomplished by any single entity. The Port of Los Angeles is pleased to play a leadership role in keeping the momentum going.”

Puget Sound Pollution Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Maritime-related air pollution in the Puget Sound fell in almost every sector between 2005 and 2016, according to a recent report put together by the Puget Sound Maritime Air Forum, a committee of seven ports, six government agencies, and three industrial partners.

The report indicates that air polluting emissions dropped by as much as 97 percent depending on the type. The number of fine particles, for example, dove 69 percent.

First conducted in 2005 and updated every five years, the inventory is designed to track emission reductions. The decreased emissions stem from the industry’s investment in cleaner equipment and operations as well as more stringent regulations.

“The Puget Sound maritime air emissions inventory is a solid step to inform our community and decision makers about our air quality conditions and encourage further emission reductions to protect public health, especially those disproportionately impacted in nearby communities,” said Tim Hamlin, director of Air and Waste, US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10.

For more information visit

Cutter Decommissioned

By Karen Robes Meeks

After almost 26 years of service, the US Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) was recently decommissioned in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The 110-foot Island Class patrol boat known as the “Pacific Prowler” has been involved in various law enforcement cases, safety and security enforcement patrols, presidential security operations and rescues at sea.

“The ship has been integral to the Coast Guard’s numerous missions and District Fourteen initiatives since its commissioning,” said Lt. Steele Johnson, commanding officer of Galveston Island. “The island class patrol boats have been the workhorses of the Coast Guard for nearly 30 years, and this ship has been no exception. Serving with this fine crew on such an accomplished ship and platform has been the highlight of my career, and I’m extremely proud and blessed to have done so. The crew’s accomplishments and dedication to excellence honor those crews that have come before us, and set the standard for crews of any ship to come. The Galveston Island may leave our service today, but its legacy lives on.”

Port of Olympia Approves Local Projects

By Karen Robes Meeks

Five special projects recently received the go-ahead from the Port of Olympia Commission. Funding was allocated to the following initiatives:

• $75,000 in matching funds to finish a master plan for the SW Washington Innovation and Business Park in Tenino; • $15,000 in matching funds was allocated toward a feasibility study for frozen food processing, done in partnership with Washington State University (WSU) Extension;

• $10,500 in matching funds went to a WSU Extension-led grain mill feasibility study and a grain varietal plot testing to see what grains can best adapt to the region’s climate;

• $25,000 in matching funds for improvements to the former East Bay Trail and North Point Park, which will be renamed the Billy Frank Jr. Trail and Park, and

• Funding (amount yet to be determined) for a visioning process that will invite community input on the future of the port.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Tijuana River Toxic Waste Suit

By Karen Robes Meeks

This month, the San Diego Unified Port District and City of Chula Vista joined the City of Imperial Beach in a lawsuit to stop toxic waste and sewage from flowing from the Tijuana River to the ocean, according to the port.

The lawsuit is against the International Boundary and Water Commission and Veolia Water North America, who city and port officials claim that their operation of the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment plant has been violating federal laws for years.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment Thursday because the matter is in active litigation.

“The ongoing sewage spills causing beach closures and making people sick in Imperial Beach are an environmental and human disaster and it’s getting worse, with 28 beach closures since Jan. 1,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina. “We are filing this lawsuit as a last resort and we welcome the involvement of the City of Chula Vista and Port of San Diego. We encourage other communities and interested parties to join us in finding a permanent solution to what might be the worst ongoing environmental violations in the United States.”

A unified strategy is needed to resolve this regional issue, said Port of San Diego Commissioner Dan Malcolm.

“All residents of San Diego County are affected by the Tijuana River pollution because it damages our shared coastal assets,” he said. “After careful consideration, the Port of San Diego has decided to take this issue to the courts to force federal action. The only way the Port can address this problem is through the federal government because we do not oversee the source of the spills or the area where the federal sewage treatment plant is located.”

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom on March 2 expressed his support for the lawsuit.

"The IBWC's failure to address pollution and protect environmental and public health in the border region is unacceptable,” Newsom said. “California' pristine coastline is protected by some of the most visionary policies and steadfast advocates to ensure the persistence of vibrant ecosystems, thriving ports, and public access for all. I applaud the efforts of the Port San of San Diego and the Cities of Imperial Beach and Chula Vista to uphold these values in their action against the IBWC for its culpability in the all-too-frequent pollution events in San Diego."

Fuel Project Lease Ended

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA and Vancouver Energy have ended their Terminal 5 lease early, weeks following Gov. Jay Inslee’s January rejection of the project.

Vancouver Energy, whose proposed project involved bringing up 360,000 barrels per day of North American crude oil by rail to the port for ships bound for Alaska, California and Washington refineries, chose to terminate the lease a month early and give its March lease payment to nonprofits.

“This agreement with the port to end our lease a month early makes it possible for Vancouver Energy to contribute the March lease payment amount of $100,000 to support worthwhile community causes through our donor-advised fund in partnership with the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington,” said Jared Larrabee, Vancouver Energy general manager. “While the outcome of our project isn’t what we had hoped, we have worked closely with the Port of Vancouver USA for more than four years and appreciate the opportunity to conclude this effort on a positive note and in a way that benefits the community.”

Port CEO Julianna Marler said the port appreciates the generosity of Vancouver Energy and their approach to this process.

“Vancouver Energy and Jared have been very strong partners,” she said. “The (Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council) process took a lot longer than we anticipated. We worked very well together and came up with some creative solutions, and I just want to express my appreciation for their partnership and hard work.”

More Aerospace at Everett

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett recently welcomed the new Northwest Aerospace Technologies facility at Latitude Business Park in the port’s Riverside Business Park.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the 21-year-old aerospace manufacturer, whose expansion into Everett “fulfills the vision for job creation and economic development the Port has worked diligently to accomplish at the site for many years,” according to the port.

Latitude broke ground last June on the first of two buildings for Northwest Aerospace Technologies, which planned to relocate about 200 employees from its downtown Everett facility.

“NAT’s new Facility is the perfect platform for future growth, and will support a well‐organized operation in both the engineering and manufacturing departments,” said Jim Moore, president of Northwest Aerospace Technologies.“ Our new facility will allow NAT to remain competitive and successful for many years.”

New Mexican Cruise Service from Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Carnival Cruise Line, which has reopened its upgraded Long Beach Cruise Terminal, recently announced that starting in December 2019 it will commence a year-long, seven-day service from Long Beach to the Mexican Riviera on its new Carnival Panorama ship.

The 3,960-passenger Panorama will be the first Carnival ship in two decades to be based in Southern California.

Carnival Panorama promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet and we’re delighted to provide our guests with an opportunity to be among the first to sail on our first new ship on the West Coast in two decades,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

The upgrades feature added shore power capability so bigger ships can plug in at berth and more than twice the space for Carnival’s operations, according to the Port of Long Beach.

Carnival also plans to launch a big port development project in Ensenada, Mexico, one of its Long Beach destinations, according to the port.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lecture Series at Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA is launching its annual Lecture Series with Capt. Dan Jordan, who for 14 years has been guiding large ships across the Columbia River Bar. He will discuss challenges of navigating the river and talk about Bar Pilots. His lecture, “Awful and Magnificent Grandeur” – Navigating the Columbia Bar with the Columbia River Bar Pilots,” is scheduled for tonight, from 6:30 to 8 the Warehouse ’23 Event Space in Vancouver, Washington.

On April 3, Shaver Vice President of Marine Services Rob Rich will discuss the tug and barge industry and its role in moving grain, logs, sand, liquid bulks and other cargo for the region. Rich’s lecture, “From Farm to Table and the World – Tugs and Barges, Workhorses of the Columbia-Snake-Willamette River System,” will also take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Events are presented at the Warehouse ’23 Event Space, 100 Columbia Street, Vancouver, Washington, and are free to the public. Two more lectures will be announced next month.

To register, call 360-693-3611 or email

New Long Beach Construction Chief

By Karen Robes Meeks

Darrin Lambrigger is the new director of construction management at the Port of Long Beach.

Lambrigger, whose appointment officially began earlier this month, had been acting in the role that manages the building of the port’s projects, including major ones such as the $1.5 billion Middle Harbor Redevelopment project, since June.

Lambrigger takes over for Suzanne Plezia, who was elevated last summer to senior director/chief harbor engineer.

Before joining the port in 2011, Lambrigger had been a port consultant on the Pier G Administration and Operations Buildings projects. He started at the port as deputy chief harbor engineer before being promoted to assistant director of construction management in 2015. Lambrigger attended Loyola Marymount University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in civil engineering.

Rooney Back at Port Hueneme

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the second time, Mary Anne Rooney will lead the Port of Hueneme Board of Harbor Commissioners as president.

Rooney, who was first elected in 2010, became the port’s first woman to serve as president of the Board in 2014.

“I am honored to be the president of the board and am focused on strengthening our relationships with our neighboring cities, the Navy, and the county for the benefit of all,” she said. “Also, I am looking toward continuing to increase economic vitality for our region, with a focus on increasing exports.”

Rooney, an independent strategic business consultant, has been involved in the leadership roles with the Association of Pacific Ports; the American Association of Port Authorities; and the World Affairs Council, California Central Coast Chapter.

Bulk Expansion at Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Canpotex Limited has finished its five-year, nearly $150 million terminal expansion at Portland Bulk Terminals at the Port of Portland.

The terminal now has a new shiploader, a new warehouse facility capable of holding 110,000 metric tons (MT), and an upgraded vessel loading system that can more efficiently move potash from trains, through the warehouse system and onto ships. “The expansion of our Portland terminal is the culmination of five years of hard work, dedication and partnership between Canpotex, the Port of Portland, the local community and dozens of vendors and suppliers,” said Ken Seitz, president and CEO of Canpotex. “The improvements we have made at Portland Bulk Terminals will enhance our ability to reliably ship our potash overseas and meet customers’ needs.”

According to the company, the improvements raise overall terminal system capacity by an estimated 3.5 million MT annually for a total of 7.5 million annual MT.

“The completion of this expansion project enables Canpotex to be agile and responsive to our international customers’ demands for high quality, Canadian potash,” said Seitz.

Based in Saskatoon, Canpotex is considered Canada’s largest mineral exporter, delivering potash to about 40 countries.

Friday, March 16, 2018

LA’s Seroka Thanks Longshore

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted the busiest February in its 111-year history, moving 725,059 TEUs, according to the port’s latest numbers released Tuesday.

That’s 16 percent more than February 2017, a double-digit increase that port officials attribute partly to greater activity leading up to the Lunar New Year when much of Asia slows business to celebrate the annual holiday.

The port also moved 383,089 imported TEUs, which is 28.1 percent more than February 2017, while handling 157,591 exported TEUs for a 1.4 percent increase year over year.

"In recent weeks, I’ve had the privilege of addressing the outstanding men and women of International Longshore Warehouse Union Locals 13, 63 and 94 to thank them for their critical role in making the Port of Los Angeles the busiest trade gateway in the Western Hemisphere, said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With this strong start to 2018, I’m equally grateful to all of our supply chain partners who have helped us in our ongoing quest to optimize efficiency through world-class infrastructure, innovative technology solutions and extraordinary customer service.”

Record Long Beach Box Move

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach saw a record February for cargo volume, moving 661,790 TEUs, according to data released Tuesday.

This represents a 32.8 percent jump from the same period last year and the first time the port surpassed 600,000 cargo containers in the month.

The port also handled 342,247 TEUs in imports, a 37 percent rise from February 2017, and 130,916 TEUs in exports for a 9.3 percent increase year over year.

The numbers reflect the recent trend of ocean carriers sending a steadier flow of cargo, said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “A month like this is now the new normal,” he explained, adding that the results would have been one of the biggest months of the year a decade ago.

“We expect a lull in March as East Asian nations celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday, and then a rebound in April. We’re very happy with our busy start to 2018.”

Portland Top for Auto Exports

By Karen Robes Meeks

With more than 87,000 Ford vehicles shipped out last year, the Port of Portland still reigns as the top US West Coast port for auto exports, according to the latest statistics released Monday. The port also handled up to 314,000 vehicles last year, 7.8 percent more when compared to 2016.

The Portland port is a major part in the supply chain for vehicle manufacturing. US-made cars come by rail from the assembly line to the port, where they travel on roll-on/roll-off ships headed to Asia. Import vehicles such as Hyundais, Toyotas, and Hondas come to Portland before they are distributed to dealerships across the West Coast.

“Our export boom highlights the strong demand for American-made cars in Asia,” said Keith Leavitt, the Port’s chief commercial officer. “This positive trend translates into more than 600 direct local jobs for dockworkers, processors and others working in our supply chain.”

To foster its export vehicle business, the port and its tenant Auto Warehousing Company expanded auto staging space in the Rivergate Industrial District near Terminal 6 last year.

San Diego Wins Equal Opportunity Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The National Black Contractors Association recently honored the Port of San Diego with its “Public Agency of the Year” award, which is bestowed on public agencies that have strong involvement with community groups and offer educational programs and information about upcoming contracting opportunities.

According to the port, San Diego was recognized for “its commitment in assisting with the growth and development of emerging contractors and for its alliance with the Black Contractors Association of San Diego.”

“At the Port of San Diego, we value diversity and inclusion,” said Rafael Castellanos, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “Through our Equal Opportunity Program, we champion our efforts to attract diverse businesses and applicants, to foster and retain an engaged and committed workforce and to provide access for all. We are grateful to the National Black Contractors Association for recognizing these efforts and for naming the Port Public Agency of the Year.”

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Rail Spur for Coos Bay

By Karen Robes Meeks

More export opportunities and vessel calls could come to the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, thanks to a newly completed rail spur that will be able to handle inbound freight in North Bend. A new rail spur will enable K2 Exports to move logs by rail from its K2 Exports yard on Ko-Kwel Wharf property directly to its export terminal, according to the port and the Coquille Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO).

“CEDCO has been interested in linking our industrial development property to the rail line ever since rail service returned to our communities,” said CEDCO CEO Judy Duffy-Metcalf. “After receiving a request to create a rail link and analytics to support the project from their customer, K2 Exports presented us with a business case for building a spur on the wharf property. We were happy to coordinate the effort with Coos Bay Rail Link,” she added.

New rail spur would make logging operations in the Willamette Valley more efficient. According to the CEDCO, an estimated 350 rail cars could handle the same log volume as 1,250 trucks.

New Submersible Launched

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Everett tenant OceanGate recently conducted the first phase launch of Titan, a “Cyclops-class submersible designed to dive to depths of 4,000 meters,” according to the port.

OceanGate’s Operations team recently took the 19,000-pound submersible to the port marina and did a series of dunks to calibrate the integrated dive system. According to the port, “This is the first phase of the effort needed to establish a consistent process to safely launch and recover the manned sub at the start and end of each dive.”

This summer, OceanGate is expected to conduct a six-week exploration of the ill-fated Titanic with a crew comprised of 20 scientists, content experts, and “Mission Specialists” as well as additional expedition team members working both inside the submersible and on the research ship.

Long Beach Community Sponsorship

By Karen Robes Meeks

This month, the Port of Long Beach is looking to fund local events and programs through its community sponsorship program. Applications for funding requests must be received by March 30. Sponsorships will be awarded in mid-May by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

“The Harbor Department provides sponsorship funds to local groups for community events and programs that help inform residents about the Port's role as an economic engine and a leader in environmental sustainability,” according to the port.

Last November, 100 port sponsorships totaling $440,650 were awarded to groups that focused on specific areas such as arts, diversity, education, environment and health, a record amount for the port.

Visit for more information.

New San Diego Police Chief

By Karen Robes Meeks

Mark Stainbrook is the Port of San Diego’s new Vice President of Public Safety/Harbor Police Chief. Stainbrook, whose position was made official March 1 after acting in the role since October, will be tasked with overseeing the Harbor Police Department, Homeland Security and all aspects of port security.

“Mark Stainbrook has helped build the great team we have at the Harbor Police Department, and I am confident that our Port Public Safety team will continue to excel under his leadership, work ethic and excellent relationships with our law enforcement community,” said the Port President and Chief Executive Officer Randa Coniglio. “We are all very proud of our Harbor Police and I look forward to continuing our department’s progression to a 21st Century law enforcement agency under Chief Stainbrook.”

Stainbrook, who has been with the Harbor Police Department since 2011, is a retired Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant and an FBI National Academy graduate. He also serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve with 31 years of military service.

In his work with the US State Department, Stainbrook has trained police forces in Kenya, Chad, Nepal and India on counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence and community policing methods.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Long Beach Cargo Program

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and GE Transportation are teaming up on a two-to-three-month pilot program aimed at improving cargo flow at the nation’s second busiest seaport, port officials announced this week.

The Port Optimizer data-driven digital solution will be launched at marine terminals such as Total Terminals International and Long Beach Container Terminal.

“We experienced record volumes last year, with an 11 percent increase to 7.54 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), making 2017 our busiest year ever,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “This partnership with GE is providing an important trial for us as cargo and competition grow. We need new and innovative ways to ensure our customers can move their containers from water to land quickly, reliably and at a cost that makes sense for their business.”

The pilot brings tremendous opportunity for the San Pedro Bay ports customers and supply chain partners, said Laurie Tolson, Chief Digital Officer for GE Transportation.

“With container volumes on the rise, the world’s ports are moving more cargo than ever, making the need for operations optimization even more critical,” she explained. “A uniform, common user portal, like our Port Optimizer solution, will enable stakeholders to make scheduling, planning and payment decisions prior to cargo arrival, as well as reduce delays during each handoff between nodes in the supply chain.”

Oversize Boeing Cargo Arrives in Everett

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first oversized containers carrying parts for the new Boeing Co.’s 777X arrived at the Port of Everett on Tuesday night. The parts were offloaded at Pier 1 using a mobile harbor crane capable of handling heavier, larger aerospace containers coming to the port.

This speaks to recent investments made by the port, which last month awarded nearly $25 million in construction contracts for Phase 2 of its South Terminal Modernization project, the port’s largest capital project to date.

“I find it fitting that as we celebrate the Port of Everett’s centennial year in 2018, we continue to be forward thinking, preparing the port’s infrastructure to carry us into our next 100 years,” said Glen Bachman, president of the port commission. “Completing critical infrastructure upgrades like this will better position the Port and its facilities to handle the larger vessels now calling Everett and accommodate the next generation of over-dimensional cargo on the horizon, including aerospace parts for the new 777X, which began arriving in the port this week.”

New Drayage Network

By Karen Robes Meeks

E*DRAY, a tech-based platform aimed at making drayage operations at terminals and container yards more efficient, is rolling out in North American markets after a year of planning and market testing, and another nine months of technology development, the company announced Monday.

E*DRAY has heightened its presence with Seattle/Tacoma and is operating live. Several other customers have been secured in Los Angeles/Long Beach and a local team is expected to begin operations by the end of this month, according to the company.

“The Port of Los Angeles is supportive of programs like E*DRAY to help cargo velocity through our gateway,” said Los Angeles Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With our GE Transportation initiative underway, E*DRAY stands to both strengthen and complement what we are bringing to the port community.”

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which consists of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, was the first port to partner with E*DRAY, said John Wolfe, CEO of Northwest Seaport Alliance.

“Their innovation, technology and team have a new approach to increasing velocity through our gateway, which is needed across the country,” he said. “We're excited to work with them and help this become a new standard for those that embrace their solution.”

LA Waterfront Town Hall

By Karen Robes Meeks

Find out more about the latest Los Angeles waterfront developments and initiatives at the LA Waterfront Town Hall will take place on March 20.

The storied waterfront will be seeing a lot of community enhancing projects in the coming years, including this year’s construction of the $52.7 million Wilmington Waterfront Promenade, the beginning of the 2019 $23.8 million Avalon Promenade and Gateway Project and the transformation of Ports O' Call Village into San Pedro Public Market.

The market, which construction is expected to start later this year, is slated to open in 2021 as a destination with restaurants, retail and office uses and a waterfront promenade with outdoor space, and an open-air amphitheater for live entertainment.

The event will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Warner Grand Theatre, 478 West 6th St. in San Pedro. Visit for more details.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Shipping Companies Lauded

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eleven shipping companies have been recognized by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation for their efforts to reduce vessel speeds to less than 12 knots, a measure that curbs air emissions and improves whale safety.

Honorees, who were feted at Banning’s Landing Community Center near the Port of Los Angeles, included CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hamburg Sud, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai, K Line, Maersk, Matson, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Ro/Ro Division, and Yang Ming.

"Our national marine sanctuaries provide opportunities to build innovative partnerships for on-the-water conservation that protect rare species and the places they call home," said Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. "The voluntary vessel speed reduction program is one example of how we can create a win-win for conservation and the health of coastal communities by engaging shipping companies in reducing whale mortality from ship strikes and improving air quality for children while maintaining commerce."

The voluntary program, which took place from July 1 to November 15, included first-time zones in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Santa Barbara Channel region.

"The expansion of the vessel speed reduction program in 2017 demonstrates that ocean commerce and ocean conservation can work together when the shipping industry, NGOs, and government are in partnership," said Chris Mobley, superintendent, NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Port Pulse

By Karen Robes Meeks

A panel of industry experts are expected to share their local, regional, national and global predictions at the 14th annual Pulse of the Ports Peak Season Forecast on March 28 in Long Beach, California.

The event will take place from 7:30 to 11 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Parking at the Convention Center is complimentary and the event and breakfast are also free. Visit to reserve a seat.

Those unable to attend can view the live webcast starting at 9 a.m. by logging into

For more information visit

Bellingham Industrial Art

By Karen Robes Meeks

Waypoint Park, a waterfront park along Whatcom Waterway in Bellingham, Washington, will receive a new display representing the area’s industrial roots. The public art display comes from Georgia-Pacific’s former pulp and paper mill.

Built in 1938, the 40-foot-tall “acid ball” was used as part of the former mill’s pressure relief system in which wood chips under pressure in sulphurous acid were turned into pulp, according to the Port of Bellingham. The port donated the artifact, to the city as a way to honor its industrial history on the downtown waterfront.

The more than 400,000-pound display, which will be covered with luminescent glass beads and enhanced with LED lighting. It will become a prominent feature of the Waypoint Park, which is set to open in May. The park will feature a beach, waterfront trail and a playground.

Coos Bay Dredging Completed

By Karen Robes Meeks

With the help of the state’s dredging machine The Laura, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay recently wrapped up dredging work at the Port of Garibaldi with the removal of 32,000 cubic yards of material from its boat launch and marina.

The dredging was necessary for Garibaldi, which saw ships “sitting on bottom at low tide, preventing them from getting underway when the tide was out,” according to the Port of Coos Bay, which stationed six of its staff members in the area to work with Garibaldi port staff.

The Port of Coos Bay operates The Laura on behalf of the state, which purchased the Ellicot-360SL swing ladder suction dredge in 2015 to meet essential dredging needs at Oregon ports.

Coos Bay also operates the state-acquired Ms. SoCo, a 30-foot twin outboard vessel equipped with a one-ton crane that serves as tender to The Laura.

Friday, March 2, 2018

San Francisco Seeks Settlement with State

By Karen Robes Meeks

The city of San Francisco and the California State Lands Commission have reached a tentative settlement deal that would see the state drop its lawsuit over Proposition B and not challenge the measure’s application to projects that voters already approved at Pier 70 and Mission Rock, according to the Port of San Francisco.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera recently announced the proposed settlement with the state, which challenged the validity of the 2014 measure that gave residents approval over height increases for new development on port-managed waterfront property.

As part of the settlement, the city will ensure that future decisions include written findings that approved developments are consistent with public trust and benefit the people of California. Additionally, future ballot measures affecting port property will include a city informational notice indicating the measures involve public trust lands.

Furthermore, the state and the port will work together to obtain funds to make the seawall earthquake safe and help place affordable housing on trust lands.

“This agreement protects the will of San Francisco voters,” Herrera said. “It ends this lawsuit while ensuring that voters continue to have their voices heard when it comes to the use, access and enjoyment of San Francisco’s waterfront. The waterfront is part of who we are as a city. We will continue to be good stewards of that legacy as we shape our future. Together, we will ensure that San Francisco’s waterfront remains vibrant and welcoming to residents and visitors alike.”

Olympia Honors Native Leader

By Karen Robes Meeks

Olympia, Washington’s East Bay Trail and NorthPoint Park will be renamed in honor of the late Billy Frank Jr. The Port of Olympia Commission recently approved the renaming, done in partnership with the Squaxin Island Tribe and the Frank Family.

A dedication and blessing ceremony is expected to take place on Frank’s birthday, March 9, with construction to begin in the following days.

“This is a great opportunity to educate people on the History of Billy Frank Jr.,” said Billy’s son, Willie Frank. “He spent his life working to protect the environment and salmon. My dad realized, after being arrested over 50 times for exercising his Treaty Right, that we all need to come together for the health of the salmon and Puget Sound.”

Squaxin Island Tribe Chairman Arnold Cooper said the Squaxin Island Tribe is honored to be working with the port and the Frank family on the dedication of the Billy Frank Jr. Trail and Park. “This is a great opportunity to honor Billy’s legacy while educating the community on our history and culture,” he said.

The $80,000 trail and park project will feature several educational kiosks and interpretive signs “each highlighting a unique aspect of Frank, the Squaxin Island Tribe and the life-cycle of salmon,” as well as information about native plants and honor two previous Canoe Landings (Squaxin, 2012 and Nisqually, 2016), according to the port.

The Port Commission will fund up to $25,000; the rest will come from the Squaxin Island Tribe and Salmon Defense.

Electric Trucks for Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland this month saw its first battery-powered truck come through its doors with the introduction of trucking operator GSC Logistics’ 10-ton rig, kicking off a three-year trial to demonstrate “the feasibility of zero-emission freight hauling,” according to the port.

The new truck, which is being used to move containers between its depot and Oakland marine terminals, will only be used for short hauls, according to GSC Logistics, adding that the 100-mile battery range is unsuitable for long-haul drayage.

“We’re making four-to-five runs a day within the Port’s perimeter and so far, the truck’s performing well,” said GSC Logistics CEO Scott Taylor. “Our next step will be to get it out on the road.”

If the $250,000 big rig is effective, GSC Logistics could buy up to three more electric trucks.

“We’ll be following this experiment closely,” said Richard Sinkoff, the port’s director of environmental programs and planning. “If battery-powered vehicles can do the job efficiently and affordably, they can help change the way we do business.”

Alaska Spill Unified Command Response

By Karen Robes Meeks

An oil spill, 49 miles north of Kodiak in Shuyak Strait, Alaska, earlier this week has prompted the US Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to set up a Unified Command response.

“The Unified Command's priorities are to limit environmental impacts through the containment and cleanup of the spill as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Capt. Sean MacKenzie, Unified Command’s Federal on Scene Coordinator. “We are working diligently to minimize the impact to wildlife and the environment.”

Coast Guard, ADEC and Alaska Chadux Corporation crews are responding to the spill, which apparently happened after an abandoned building and an oil fuel bladder within it collapsed due to extreme weather Monday morning. The weather on Monday saw 40 mph winds and gusts up to 75 mph.

According to the Coast Guard, the bladder may have spilled up to 3,000 gallons of bunker C fuel oil.

The Coast Guard, which opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, is partnering with oil spill removal group Alaska Chadux to help with cleanup efforts.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

San Francisco Seawall Fix

By Karen Robes Meeks

Voters would support funding improvements to San Francisco’s seawall, according to a recent survey of voters.

About 73 percent of voters surveyed between January 11 and 21 would cast a “yes” vote on a proposed $500 million bond measure to upgrade the more than century-old three-mile-long seawall, which is vulnerable to earthquake and flooding.

“The Embarcadero Seawall is vital to our transportation networks – nearly a million people arrive daily via ferries and BART and Muni – and that means we need to act quickly,” said Kimberly Brandon, president of the San Francisco Port Commission.

The Embarcadero Roadway, the Downtown Ferry Terminal and the City Auxiliary Water Supply System are key parts of San Francisco’s emergency response network, said Mayor Mark Farrell. “Ensuring the seismic safety of the Seawall supports disaster response across all corners of the city – and voters understand this,” he added.

Port officials have been gauging public interest for the bond measure, which is being considered for this November’s ballot.

USCG Teams with CBP

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Saturday, Alaska-based Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick conducted joint customs operations with a Customs and Border Protection enforcement officer five miles from the Dixon Entrance, a strait in the Pacific Ocean at the Canada and United States border.

Both were there to monitor the safety and security of mariners moving in the area and making sure customs documentation was completed when they entered US territorial waters.

“We want to identify northbound vessels and ensure proper reporting requirements so that we may properly vet passengers and crew for prior violations,” said CBP Enforcement Officer Gilbert Varela.

“Working with our partner agencies is essential in understanding each other’s roles when conducting law enforcement missions and prepares us for future events,” said Lt. Mike Moyseowicz, commanding officer of the cutter John McCormick. “The Coast Guard is committed to patrolling our maritime borders to ensure safety and compliance at all times.”

Tacoma to Host Agriculture Transportation Meeting

By Karen Robes Meeks

Tacoma will welcome the Agriculture Transportation Coalition’s (AgTC) annual meeting this summer. The association, representing agricultural shippers, estimates that some 350 attendees will gather for the June 12–15 event at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a major US gateway for exporting refrigerated goods, agricultural and forest products, pitched Tacoma as a host location in order to show off the Pacific Northwest region and its international agricultural cargo advantages.

AgTC members are major players in trade, sending over 2 million containers of food, farm and fiber products annually. The alliance, made up of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, handled more than $6.8 million worth of those exports in 2016.

Port of Vancouver USA CEO Honored

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Vancouver USA CEO Julianna Marler will be recognized with a 2018 Clark College Iris Award for her leadership achievements during her decade-long career at the port, and her role in advancing the region’s economic development and success.

She is among four local women to be honored at the awards reception on International Women’s Day, March 8.

As CEO, Marler leads a port that annually creates an estimated $2.9 billion in economic benefit to the region, including 3,200 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect positions.

“Through everything the port experienced over the last few years, Julianna has been a steadying and uplifting hand, leading the port’s team, building on our partnerships and keeping everything running smoothly as we grow,” said port commission President Eric LaBrant. “We’re very fortunate to have her at the helm and proud that she’s being recognized for her hard work.”

Friday, February 23, 2018

Seattle Commission Commits $3M for Training

By Karen Robes Meeks

In an effort to tackle the shortage of skilled trades people in the Puget Sound, the Port of Seattle Commission has committed $3 million to expand construction training and job opportunities for those in underrepresented communities. The funding carries out the Priority Hire Policy Directive that commissioners approved last November.

The program seeks to recruit and refer women, minorities and those in low-income neighborhoods to construction pre-apprentice or apprentice training programs; broaden pre-apprenticeship hands-on and classroom training that emphasizes math, safety, and physical conditioning and provide support services such as childcare and transportation for trainees in an effort to remove potential barriers to success.

“Local workers of all backgrounds should benefit from major public construction projects, but the facts tell us that has not been the case. We need a deliberate and regional effort to fix a historical imbalance and give women, minorities and workers from disadvantaged neighborhoods real opportunities,” said Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “Hiring local workers for skilled construction jobs also makes business sense by improving project delivery, lowering project cost, and helping our industries find skilled workers.”

Ports O’ Call Redesign

By Karen Robes Meeks

The designer behind the vision for the popular High Line park in New York will be involved in the project to reimagine Ports O’ Call Village on the San Pedro waterfront.

James Corner Field Operations, which helped to turn an old railway into a 1.45-mile-long park through the west side of Manhattan, will lead landscape design and master planning for the $150 million West Coast project, with Rapt Studio overseeing overall architecture and design, according to Curbed.

The developers The Ratkovich Co. and Jerico Development are expected to unveil new drawings and a schedule of the project, recast as the San Pedro Public Market, on March 20 at a LA Waterfront Town Hall meeting.

The first phase of construction will be completed by 2020, and will feature dining, retail and open green space.

Redwood City Sees Big Increase

By Karen Robes Meeks

In the first six months of its fiscal year, the Port of Redwood City saw 41 percent more cargo moving across its docks compared to the same period a year ago, handling a record 1.2-million metric ton between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2017.

The region’s construction boom is pushing the demand, with building materials arriving mostly from British Columbia to the port, according to Port Executive Director Mike Giari.

The port is projected to surpass its record tonnage from fiscal year 2005, when it moved over 1.9 million metric tons.

The number of ships that called at the port was up as well, from 49 to 79, during the same six-month period.

New Stockton Commission Chair

By Karen Robes Meeks

Sylvester Aguilar has been named chairman of the Port of Stockton Commission, the port has announced. A senior vice president and business banking relationship manager team lead for the Mid-Valley Business Banking Offices of Bank of the West, Aguilar is a Stockton native who serves on the boards of the CSUS College of Business Advisory Board, the Business Council and the Stockton Symphony Circle. He previously served as president of the San Joaquin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Aguilar earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business, graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School and finished his graduate work at Golden Gate University.

“I am humbled by the faith and confidence that my peers have placed in me,” Aguilar said. “Serving on the port commission is a distinct honor and I feel privileged and blessed to play a role in ensuring the continuing success of the largest economic driver in our region.”

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Redwood City’s Giari to Retire

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Redwood City Executive Director Michael J. Giari is expected to retire sometime in the spring, according to the port.

Giari, who plans to retire on May 1 or when a new leader is in place, has been with the Port of Redwood City since 1988. He started as manager of trade development before being promoted to executive director in 1995. Before coming to the port, Giari was an assistant manager of a major waterfront development project and as a marine transportation planner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"Mike has been instrumental in helping the port grow and sustain that growth," Commission Chairman Dick Dodge said. "Tonnage across the port docks has more than tripled since Mike assumed his position in 1995 and the Port has attracted new businesses that benefit Silicon Valley."

Giari also modernized port facilities and enhanced the port's waterfront recreation facilities and opportunities for the community, Dodge said.

Hawaii Harbor Division Bond Rating Rises

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division’s revenue bonds Series 2010 A and 2010 B rating went from an “A+” to “AA-” according from Fitch Ratings, which affirmed the upgrade Wednesday.

“Fitch’s upgrade of the Harbor Division’s bond rating – the second over the past two years – is great news and reaffirms the strong fiscal policies for which my administration has advocated,” Gov. David Ige said in a statement. “This allows us to issue our bonds at lower interest rates, increasing our buying power and providing the tools to undertake and complete statewide construction and upgrade projects, like the Kapalama Container Terminal, that ensures the continued delivery of goods that are essential for Hawaii’s communities.”

The upgrade reflects the harbor system’s continued strong financial performance in terms of coverage, liquidity, and leverage, said Harbors Division Deputy Director Darrell Young.

“We’ve focused our attention on changing the manner in which we finance our projects as a means of completing necessary statewide upgrades and construction projects more efficiently,” Young said. “By utilizing a cash financing program, we’ve been able to delay the issuance of new bond debt and to put more of our available funds directly into our Harbor Modernization projects instead of using those funds to pay for additional debt service.”

US Icebreaker Crew Complete Mission

By Karen Robes Meeks

The crew of US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star recently completed its mission to support of National Science Foundation.

The Polar Star left its Seattle, Washington homeport in November 2017 to help the foundation deliver operating supplies and fuel to research stations in Antarctica during Operation Deep Freeze. The mission involved carving through 15 miles of Antarctic ice in the Ross Sea to create a path for supply ships.

“Although we had less ice this year than last year, we had several engineering challenges to overcome to get to the point where we could position ourselves to moor in McMurdo,” said Capt. Michael Davanzo, the commanding officer of the Polar Star. “Our arrival was delayed due to these challenges, but the crew and I are certainly excited to be here. It’s a unique opportunity for our crewmembers to visit the most remote continent in the world, and in many respects, it makes the hard work worth it.”

During the mission, the Polar Star’s shaft seal failed causing flooding at a rate of approximately 20-gallons per minute. The crew was able to fix the problem and remove the freezing water from the area. Furthermore, after one of the cutter’s three main gas turbines failed, thee crew had to use the cutter’s main gas turbine power to break up the ice using its propellers.

“If the Polar Star were to suffer a catastrophic mechanical failure, the Nation would not be able to support heavy icebreaker missions like Operation Deep Freeze, and our Nation has no vessel capable of rescuing the crew if the icebreakers were to fail in the ice,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander, US Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California. “The crewmembers aboard Polar Star not only accomplished their mission, but they did so despite extreme weather and numerous engineering challenges. This is a testament to their dedication and devotion to duty.”

New Longview Commission President

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jeff Wilson is the new president of the Port of Longview Board of Commissioners.

Wilson – who takes over for Commissioner Doug Averett, who was president last year – will helm the commission “in key decisions regarding Barlow Point, Willow Grove Park and the port’s Industrial Rail Corridor,” according to the port.

“It is an honor to be voted into the position,” said Wilson, who was elected to the board in 2016. “Commissioner Averett did a great job as president, and I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners as we face the challenges and successes that are part of our business.”

Averett will serve as Board Secretary and Commissioner Bob Bagaason will be Board Vice President.

Friday, February 16, 2018

New Port of San Diego District Clerk

By Karen Robes Meeks

Donna Morales is the Port of San Diego’s new District Clerk, taking over for retiring Tim Deuel.

In her new position, Morales will be tasked with maintaining the Port District Code and ensuring compliance with the Public Records Act, the Brown Act, the Political Reform Act, the Port’s Ethics Policy and Robert’s Rules of Order. She will also helm the Office of the District Clerk, which coordinates the dockets for the port commissioners and board committees meetings, and oversees the port’s records management programs and responses to Public Records Act requests.

Morales has been with the port since 2002, first in the Audit, Risk Management and Safety Department before being promoted to Manager of Commissioner and Executive Services, which manages the administrative staff that supports the port commissioners.

“Donna Morales has proven to be a true public servant during her career at the Port of San Diego,” said Randa Coniglio, port president and CEO. “I have every confidence that the strong leadership skills she has demonstrated during her 16 years here will assist the port with its commitment to being an open and transparent government agency.”

Los Angeles Volumes Continue to Grow

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles kicked off 2018 with strong volumes for January, moving 808,728 TEUs, making it its second-busiest January on record, according to statistics released Wednesday. The busiest January numbers were established in 2017, when the port moved 2.2 percent more cargo.

The port also handled 422,831 TEUs last month, a 1.8 percent jump from the same period last year, while exports fell 7.6 percent to 150,035 TEUs.

Officials attributed the strong volumes to retailers wanting restock inventory post-holidays and the rush to move goods before much of Asia slows down business to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

"After two consecutive years of record-breaking cargo, it’s encouraging to start 2018 with robust volumes,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “It’s only the seventh time we have eclipsed the 800,000 TEU mark in a single month, and we’re grateful to our supply chain partners for their continued confidence in our world-class infrastructure, innovative technology solutions and extraordinary customer service.”

Port of Seattle Removing Creosote Pilings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Efforts to restore 4.5 acres of habitat along Terminal 5 shoreline continue as the Port of Seattle approaches its goal to remove 90 percent of creosote-treated pilings from its properties.

About 8,000 creosote pilings – obsolete materials that were once instrumental in port infrastructure before today’s use of steel and concrete – remain as the port chips away at the estimated 18,000 that were accounted for in 2000.

“Restoring shoreline habitat and removing creosote pilings is a great way to return natural vitality to our ecosystem,” said Commissioner Fred Felleman. “The Port of Seattle is on track to remove thousands more creosote pilings by 2025.”

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz thanked the port for its removal efforts, adding that the creosote-treated pilings were harming the health of Puget Sound.

“By partnering with agencies like the port, the Department of Natural Resources is leading efforts throughout Puget Sound to restore habitat and remove creosote pilings and debris from our waters,” she said. “I look forward to further partnership with the port and leaders like Commissioner Fred Felleman as we continue this important work.”

Charging Stations at Port Hueneme

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Hueneme, California, unveiled two new publicly-accessible electric vehicle charging stations, each able to fully charge two vehicles at once in less than five hours.

“These new stations are evidence of the Port’s ever-growing efforts to be responsible stewards of the environment and good neighbors,” said Board President Mary Anne Rooney. “We hope that not only port customers and employees will utilize them, but that residents of the surrounding community will take advantage of these state-of-the-art charging stations as well.”

The new stations, located at 333 Pomona Street and 105 E. Port Hueneme Road, were in part funded through an Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Program grant from the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD).

“We are grateful to the VCAPCD team who awarded the grant to fund this project and look forward to continuing to make meaningful improvements that build upon existing projects like shoreside power, battery power storage, and zero/near zero emission vehicles on port,” said port CEO and Director Kristin Decas.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Clean Trucks for Seattle/Tacoma

By Karen Robes Meeks

The trucking industry in the Northwest will have to operate with cleaner trucks starting April 1, 2018.

Last week, the managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance – made up of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma – changed its Clean Truck Program to read that in order to operate within the port’s international container terminals, trucks must be outfitted with a 2007 or newer engine or equivalent emissions control retrofits. Non-compliant truckers may obtain a temporary pass while working to get vehicles that meet those standards by the end of the year.

Starting April 1, all trucks entering a container terminal at the Port of Seattle must have an RFID tag or a pass.. At the Port of Tacoma, a green Clean Truck Program sticker or a pass will be required. Those failing to comply will be turned away.

The 2007 engine model standard is expected to remain in place until at least 2025, according to the ports. To apply for the temporary port access pass, visit Application process starts March 1 and must be completed by April 1, 2018.

Long Beach Breaks Cargo Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach continues its record-breaking run in cargo movement.

On Friday, the nation’s second busiest seaport reported moving 657,830 TEUs last month, the first time the port handled more than 600,000 TEUs in the month of January.

“The pre-Lunar New Year surge is definitely here,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, referring to two-week holiday in Asia. “Since this year’s holiday begins February 16, we anticipated a busy January and February, as cargo owners seek to get goods shipped ahead of the festivities.”

The port also handled a record 324,656 TEUs in imports, 8.6 percent more than January 2017, and 120,503 TEUs in exports, 1.9 percent more than the same period last year.

This comes on the heels of the port’s record-shattering 2017, which marked the port’s busiest year with 7.54 million TEUs.

“The Port of Long Beach is happy to have a great start to 2018, especially after the successes of last year,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We wish our supply chain partners in Asia a prosperous Lunar New Year and we’ll be doing all we can to ensure we can continue to grow our businesses together.”

Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Upgrade

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego recently kicked off a $24 million project to upgrade its Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

The modernization project, which will take approximatively 13 months to complete, will involve the removal of two old warehouses to make way for laydown area for larger project cargo as well as upgrading utilities, and improving lighting and pavement. Building new modular office space, utility enclosures and restrooms and improving on-dock rail capabilities are also part of the plan.

“The timing is right for this project as the Port of San Diego is poised for additional growth in the Blue Economy,” said Port Commission Chairman Rafael Castellanos. “We are the fourth largest port in the state and this project will allow the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal to handle up to 4.6 million metric tons of cargo annually and create many great jobs, while protecting the environment by incorporating smart technology to reduce pollution.”

This is part of a larger effort to enhance the port’s specialty cargo advantage. The plan also includes “three distinct cargo nodes within the existing footprint of the terminal and is focused on project and break-bulk cargo, refrigerated containers and dry bulk cargo,” according to the port.

Portland Logistics Center

By Karen Robes Meeks

On April 1, Portland company EYELEVEL will relocate its distribution center from Swan Island to the PDX Logistics Center.

Capstone Partners LLC and its joint venture partner PCCP, LLC recently inked a 122,749-square-foot lease with EYELEVEL, for its PDX Logistics Center Phase III Building 5. The two-building development in Capstone’s approximately 1.1 million-square-foot logistics park located in Portland International Center is ground leased from the Port of Portland.

“We are excited to welcome EYELEVEL in their relocation to PDX Logistics Center Phase III,” said Chris Nelson, Principal of Capstone Partners LLC. “EYELEVEL is an international company that designs and manufactures retail experiences for global brands. This facility will be home to their DC and logistics teams. We are pleased they have selected our development for this important expansion of their Portland footprint.”

EYELEVEL said the company has outgrown the Swan Island facilities that served the company well for the last decade. “As we continue to produce, assemble, inventory, and distribute worldwide from Portland, it’s important that we have the infrastructure to support our clients’ needs, and above all, provide well-designed and thoughtful workplaces for our employees,” said Operations Director Joseph Wenz.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Portland Cleanup Continues

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Portland’s ongoing efforts to clean up contamination at its most active marine terminal, Terminal 4, will continue under a preliminary agreement recently reached between the port and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Port officials last summer reached out to the EPA to figure out how to best move forward on remediating Terminal 4, which is located within the Portland Harbor Superfund site. Operations that were discontinued 20 years ago caused much of the contamination.

The EPA identified the next cleanup steps and outlined the areas of a preliminary agreement that would involve looking at the best technical solutions for remediation. With a thisdocument in place, both agencies will now negotiate to formalize the agreement.

“We’re committed to a cleanup that protects our community and environment and excited to further the significant work that we’ve already accomplished at Terminal 4,” said Port Executive Director Curtis Robinhold. “We’re proud to stand with the others, public and private, who have committed to moving cleanup forward at Portland Harbor.”

New Hawaiian Cutter

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sunday, the US Coast Guard welcomed the cutter Joseph Gerczak, the second of three 154-foot fast response cutters that will serve the main Hawaiian Islands.

The cutter, which is expected to be commissioned on March 9, is named after Joseph Gerczak, a first-responder who died defending the USS LST-66 from Japanese bombers in 1943.

It is one of the 58 first-response cutters the Coast Guard acquired to replace smaller patrol boats. The new vessels are built for various missions, including search and rescue; fisheries enforcement; drug and migrant interdiction and national defense.

When all three cutters arrive by 2019, it will improve the Coast Guard’s on-water presence by 40 percent.

Long Beach, Panama Partnership

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and the Panama Canal Authority will continue their trade promotion efforts. Both government agencies recently agreed to extend a Memorandum of Understanding first signed in 2010 that allows them to partner on activities that mutually benefit trading between Latin America and the United States.

Those activities include participating in events or programs that bolster economic growth, jobs and revenue between the two regions and sharing their technical know-how on engineering, pollution reduction, environmental protection and other areas of interest.

The agreement will continue to be in effect through December 2022, according to the port.

Oakland Cargo Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

Want to know more about the Port of Oakland’s 2017 record-breaking cargo volumes or its business forecast for 2018? Port officials recently unveiled Year in review 2017 (, a new web portal that allow stakeholders to do just that.

The site includes:

• Minute-long videos on the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and commercial real estate properties, as well as community, engineering, environmental and financial updates;

• An interactive map with information on the port’s key development projects;

• An airline route map showing the airport’s travel destinations from Oakland; and

• The 10 biggest port stories of 2017

“The Port of Oakland’s year in review web portal provides visitors with an interactive platform for accessing key data from the Port’s very successful year,” said Port Director of Information Technology Eva Jakubowska. “The site also provides cargo, financial, and passenger statistics in a compelling and visually engaging manner.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Oakland CEO Predicts Record Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

At his annual State of the Port address, the head of the Port of Oakland declared 2018 to be the year of record highs for cargo volume.

“This is our time,” port Executive Director Chris Lytle told the 300 people in attendance for the speech in Oakland’s Jack London Square. “We’ve spent much of this decade working with business partners to build out the cargo delivery platform our customers want and in 2018 we’re putting it to work.”

Lytle spoke about the port’s investments that will foster this record growth, which include raising four ship-to-shore cranes to accommodate megaships; opening Cool Port Oakland, a 283,000-square-foot refrigerated cargo distribution facility; and expanding TraPac marine terminal.

According to Lytle, the port plans to unveil a new five-year strategic plan in 2018 that would balance business growth with community needs. “As the port progresses, we want our neighbors to benefit as well,” he said.