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.