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.