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.