Friday, January 19, 2018

Portland Terminal 6 Best Use Determined

By Karen Robes Meeks

Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland would be best served as “a multi-use terminal that dedicates revenues from other terminal activities to support container service,” according to the port, which recently announced the findings of a consultant study and work from an industry leader committee. The findings, which were presented to the port commission earlier this month, showed that a diverse mix of cargo uses is needed to support the container business since volumes are lower than most West Coast ports.

The location, as a river port, and mergers in the marine industry may make it difficult to get a return on weekly trans-Pacific container service. Drawing carriers that offer service to Asia that align with the region’s primary export and import markets, keeping terminal rates competitive and labor productivity levels at or above West Coast standards, lowering costs and securing container volume support from the shipping community are key to the facility’s success, the study indicated.

“This analysis reinforced that there is no silver bullet for container service,” said Curtis Robinhold, Port executive director. “With the strong backing of shippers, labor and businesses, I’m hopeful that we can continue to offer container service options for shippers at T-6, while ensuring long-term financial stability. We heard strong support from our partners in the shipping community that they are willing to do what it takes to help support container service at the terminal.”

Meanwhile, the port and BNSF are teaming up to offer a rail shuttle between Terminal 6 and Puget Sound ports. Also, Swire Shipping now calls at T-6 monthly with a general cargo/container service to New Zealand/Australia and Asia.

Vancouver Energy Faces Lease Loss

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA’s Board of Commissioners recently voted 3-0 to give notice to Vancouver Energy, a joint venture between Andeavor (formerly Tesoro Corp.) and Savage Companies planning to build a $210 million terminal at the port. The company must get the necessary licenses, permits and approvals to operate by March 31 or face lease termination.

The proposed terminal would take up to 360,000 barrels of crude delivered daily by rail and store it before transferring it to vessels going to West Coast oil refineries, where it would become transportation fuel and other products for US consumers. When fully operational, the business would have the potential to generate $2 billion for the local and regional economy and “uniquely positions Washington to bring lower-carbon fuels to the West Coast,” according to Vancouver Energy’s website. The project, which has been under review by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) since August 2013, received a setback December 19 when the council announced it would recommend that Gov. Jay Inslee deny the project.

“It’s gratifying to have our commission be united in its vision for the future of the port and community,” said Commission President Eric LaBrant. “We still await the governor’s decision on the project and we continue to be focused on supporting businesses, growing jobs and providing benefit to our community.”

Commissioner Jerry Oliver, a longtime supporter of the project and the EFSEC review process, said he was aware of the council’s rejection, but still sees a way forward. “I believe that when the decision on the oil terminal is behind us, in five years or ten years, the port will still be doing great things for the benefit of the community,” he said.

San Francisco Seeks New Operator for Shipyard

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Francisco plans to re-issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) with broader parameters for a new operator of the Pier 70 shipyard in hope that the port commission could consider it on February 27.

The port only received three responses to the first RFP release in August, but found only one deemed responsive.

Port officials believe the new RFP will draw a larger bidding pool as it may offer more flexibility in developing proposals. Allowing for possible public investment in the shipyard’s infrastructure, as well as consideration for capital equipment ownership transfer to help pay for needed facility improvements are two of the options not included in the previous RFP that could make a difference. Since the former shipyard operator halted operations in May, the port has been absorbing the cost to maintain the Pier 70 shipyard while looking for a new operator.

The Pier 70 shipyard is vital in supporting the area’s “growing passenger cruise industry, government and defense fleets, the domestic oil refineries business, and regional Bay Area maritime passenger and harbor service support vessels,” according to the port.

Port of Seattle to Battle Human Trafficking

By Karen Robes Meeks

In recognition of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month, the Port of Seattle announced a new port-wide strategy to fight human trafficking through its facilities, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and others throughout the region.

The strategy will target four areas to address the issue, focusing on “ensuring all employees have access to training and education; utilizing port facilities and communications channels to raise public awareness; collaborating with nonprofits, government agencies and private sector partners to maximize impact; and ensuring port policies and procedures are up to date to report suspicion of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is not just a global issue, it’s a local issue,” said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commission President. “The port has been engaged in this topic for years but now is the perfect opportunity to increase our regional leadership on this topic. As a major employer, an operator of an airport and maritime facilities, and a partner, we can do more to reduce demand, assist victims and raise public awareness.”

An estimated 300–500 children are put into prostitution annually in King County, some as young as 11 years old, according to the port.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Another Cargo Record at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted record-shattering cargo numbers, moving more than 9.3 million TEUs in 2017, the most annual cargo handled by a port in the Western Hemisphere, Los Angeles port officials announced on January 12.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 9,343,192 TEUs, 5.5 percent more than in 2016, which was also a record-breaking year for Los Angeles.

“2017 was a year beyond expectations but it was not by chance,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our growth is a direct result of a concerted, multi-year effort by the port and its many partners to maximize efficiency throughout the supply chain. All the collaborative work by a broad range of global maritime stakeholders has delivered these remarkable results.”

The record-breaking year occurred despite a tepid December for cargo volumes. Imports dipped 2.2 percent to 385,492 TEUs and exports fell 7.3 percent to 152,865 TEUs when compared to December 2016. The port moved 779,210 TEUs in overall cargo last month, a 2.2 percent drop year over year.

But the port experienced tremendous growth in the months leading up to the end of 2017, which brought high-tech efficiency to Los Angeles in the form of a new Port Optimizer digital information portal. The portal, created in partnership with GE Transportation, gathers and organizes shipping information in a way that helps those in the supply chain better prepare for cargo arrivals.

Long Beach on Dock Rail Vote Expected

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Harbor Commission is expected to vote on the final document detailing the environmental impact of the Port of Long Beach’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility on January 22.

Located southwest of Anaheim Street and Interstate 710, the proposed Pacific Harbor Line-operated facility would enable the placement of more cargo directly on trains at marine terminals instead of using trucks to ferry that cargo, an environmental benefit, port officials said.

“Building longer trains within the Port would lessen local traffic congestion related to goods movement,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “This facility is vital to meet our environmental goals while helping us stay competitive and power the city’s economy.”

Visit for more details on the Pier B project and final environment impact report.

New CFO for Harley Marine

By Karen Robes Meeks

Sterling Adlakha is Harley Marine Services’ new chief financial officer. The company chairman and CEO Harley Franco welcomed Adlakha to the executive team in an announcement made in October.

“Our past financial executive set the bar high for sustainable growth, with strong ethics, and a goal to prosper and diversify,” Franco said. “We are excited to have Sterling join the team and believe he will continue this legacy to get our company to the next level with his drive, focus, and experience.”

A US Coast Guard Academy graduate, Adlakha served 10 years with the Coast Guard before earning his MBA and international business diplomacy certificate from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

He worked in investment banking and equity research before coming to Kirby Corp., where he was corporate finance manager, director of investor relations and finance, and eventually vice president and chief financial officer of United Holdings LLC.

“I’m very excited to join such a fast-growing company at the leading edge of the industry in terms of technology and environmental stewardship,” Adlakha said. “Harley Marine is renowned for its track record in safety and great customer service and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to support the team as we continue to build upon this record of success.”

Volunteers Needed for Olympia Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia is in need of applicants for its Volunteer Harbor Patrol Program, which helps to provide safety and security to visitors of the Marine Terminal, Swantown Marina & Boatworks and the waterfront.

The unpaid work involves promoting boater education safety, special event patrols and ship escorts, assisting in emergency response situations such as search and rescue, distressed vessels, emergency medical services and fire responses.

Eligible candidates must be 21 years old, have a Washington State driver’s license, be a US citizen or have the legal right to reside in the US, graduated high school or have completed GED requirements, have no felony convictions, no misdemeanor convictions within the previous five years and agree to serve in the program for at least one year.

The deadline to submit applications in January 22.

For more information, visit or contact Jeri Sevier, Administrative Services Director at or at 360-528-8003.